ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Missouri's two biggest newspapers recently reported that Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley allowed political consultants access and influence to the Attorney General's Office almost as soon as he took office.
The Kansas City Star and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that out of state consultants gave direct guidance and tasks to Hawley's taxpayer-funded staff and led meetings with them inside public buildings in Jefferson city.
Thursday Sen. Claire McCaskill said those articles show the AG's office was being run by Washington D.C. consultants only interested in raising Hawley’s profile and getting him elected to the Senate.
“The last Republican AG we had went to prison for using the official resources of his office for political purposes,” McCaskill said. “It's something that shows bad judgement because he promised he would take consultants out of the picture, but he's also using resources for personal gain, so I am assuming someone will investigate.”
In October of last year, News 4 investigative reporter Chris Nagus requested information from Hawley’s office regarding his public calendar and availability for an interview.
In the ensuing email chain, Nagus indicated the official spokesperson for the office had suggested he contact a political consultant over the issue.
That consultant then responds to Nagus multiple times about it.
News 4 asked McCaskill about that specifically, and she says it showed bad judgment.
“I know that if I ever invited my pollster or my political consultant into my official office, I would expect to be investigated and that's what he's done. He's bent the will of taxpayer resources to his political purposes, that's a problem,” she said.
News 4 asked for an on-camera interview with Hawley about the matter Thursday but his campaign declined to comment.
They referred reporters to the Attorney General’s Office, where a spokesperson strongly denied the reports saying, "These allegations are absurdly false. No taxpayer resources were expended for campaign purposes. No government employee participated in political activity."