The Missouri governor said he stands by the work he's done with The Mission Continues and maintained that he will prove his innocence in court.
St. Louis prosecutors on Friday charged Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens with a felony for using a charity donor list for his 2016 political campaign, adding to the woes of the first-term Republican governor who responded by calling it another effort to "smear" him.
Hawley's office announced Tuesday that his office may have found evidence of a felony by Greitens in an investigation involving the veterans charity.
Hawley said at the time that his office was ready to assist the St. Louis circuit attorney if she chose to pursue the case.
"These are serious charges - and an important reminder that no one is above the law in Missouri", Mr. Hawley said on Friday after the new charge was announced.
It's the latest legal malady for the GOP governor, who is also facing a felony invasion of privacy charge for allegedly taking a revealing photo of a woman without her consent.
According to the court document, the president of the charity told an investigator Greitens and the person who got the list did not have permission to use the list for political purposes. The charge stems from an allegation that Greitens had obtained or transferred a donor list from a nonprofit he founded and used it for political gain.
His attorney Ed Dowd called the latest allegation against Greitens "absurd" and said his client was innocent.
"St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner reviewed the evidence turned over to her by my office and determined that there is probable cause to file criminal charges against the Governor".
"The court will find Eric innocent of yet another absurd charge, and the people of Missouri will learn the true motives behind this action soon enough", Mr. Dowd said.
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"Her case is falling apart - so today, she's brought a new one", Greitens said.
The charity's employee handbook and its non-disclosure agreements "prohibited disclosure of the donor list and the retention of it by anyone not employed by and working on behalf of The Mission Continues", the probable cause statement said.
Gardner's office did not specify what evidence she had to charge Greitens, and said additional information would not be immediately provided. "The investigation into The Mission Continues addresses an entirely separate matter".
This is the second felony indictment against Greitens in 2018. He goes to trial next month for an unrelated charge of invasion of privacy.
Prosecutors did not say whether anyone else faced charges in the investigation.
The Associated Press was the first to report on what Greitens had done and at the time, he denied to the AP that he had copied the donor list.
In a Facebook posting, Greitens accused Gardner of wasting "thousands and thousands of taxpayer dollars". His attorneys, in court hearings and filings, have painted a picture of an incompetent prosecutor who rather than working with police to investigate Greitens hired a private investigator who bungled the probe, hid evidence and lied to the court. In a statement, House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty (D-Kansas City) urged the proceedings to begin "now".
But a Missouri state house committee released a bombshell investigative report last week detailing an alleged nonconsensual sexual encounter with his former hairdresser.
Missouri Republicans are anxious that a recent sex scandal involving Gov. Eric Greitens will drag their party down.