Judge weighs subpoena of group backing Missouri governor - KCTV5 News

Judge weighs subpoena of group backing Missouri governor

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A secretive nonprofit group that has backed Gov. Greitens' agenda shouldn't have to comply with a subpoena from lawmakers investigating allegations of wrongdoing by the governor, an attorney representing the governor's argued in court. (AP) A secretive nonprofit group that has backed Gov. Greitens' agenda shouldn't have to comply with a subpoena from lawmakers investigating allegations of wrongdoing by the governor, an attorney representing the governor's argued in court. (AP)
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -

A secretive nonprofit group that has backed Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' agenda shouldn't have to comply with a subpoena from lawmakers investigating various allegations of wrongdoing by the Republican governor, an attorney representing the governor's political interests argued Wednesday in court.

Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem issued no immediate ruling on a request by a special House committee that he order A New Missouri and Greitens gubernatorial campaign to turn over information about the group.

The court hearing occurred just a few blocks down the street from the Capitol, where a legislative committee meeting during a special session continued to gather evidence and testimony as it tries to determine whether to recommend that Greitens be impeached and ousted from office.

The legislative investigation has so far focused primarily on allegations of sexual misconduct against Greitens by a woman with whom he acknowledges having a consensual affair and on claims that Greitens misused a donor list from a veterans' charity he founded to raise money for his gubernatorial campaign.

But the House panel also is exploring other allegations against Greitens. It's specifically looking into A New Missouri, a 501c4 social welfare nonprofit that doesn't have to disclose the identities of its donors. The organization has spent money on behalf of Greitens and his policy goals, including making contributions to other groups supporting a right-to-work law Greitens signed limiting union powers.

In court Wednesday, House attorney Mark Kempton said the subpoenas are trying to "get to the bottom of whether or not there have been any campaign contribution violations."

Although the subpoenas were broader, he said lawmakers currently are focused on just a couple of main areas - communications and documents showing potential coordination between Greitens, his campaign committee and A New Missouri; and communications and expenditures by A New Missouri related to media advertising.

Attorney Catherine Hanaway, a former GOP gubernatorial rival who now represents Greitens' campaign and A New Missouri, said the subpoenas go beyond the authority granted to the House committee in the resolution that created it. She said the panel is limited to investigating allegations against Greitens, noted that A New Missouri is a separate entity and added that there are no allegations about Greitens' conduct related to A New Missouri.

"The subpoenas are sweeping in their demands and not within the scope of the House investigation," Hanaway told the judge.

Beetem gave attorneys until the end of business Friday to submit additional written arguments and proposed rulings.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.

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