The Cole County Circuit Court issued a subpoena for U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley on Monday, ordering him to answer questions under oath about accusations that his former office violated Missouri public records law.
“This is a political stunt by a political candidate,” a spokesperson for Hawley said Tuesday. “It’s unfortunate that Democrat operatives continue to misuse our courts of law for political purposes.”
Elad Gross, a former assistant attorney general of Missouri, requested the subpoena after he looked into anonymous political donations in the state in 2017. Gross asked Hawley to bring any and all documents pertaining to Hawley, campaign donors, state employees, and other consultants in the enforcement of Missouri’s Sunshine Laws.
Gross, who is running for Missouri attorney general in 2020 as a Democrat, said Hawley will be served the subpoena shortly. Hawley isn’t named in the lawsuit.
When asked if Hawley plans to quash the subpoena, the senator’s spokesperson responded, “It’s a frivolous request. He isn’t party to the lawsuit.”
Hawley has provided Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft with emails and records that relate to meetings with Attorney General’s Office employees and outside consultants and records of public funds spending to consultants.
The release of those records was not related to the Gross case. Ashcroft’s office launched an investigation into Hawley’s spending after the American Democracy Legal fund requested the investigation in November.
The fund wrote to Ashcroft’s office Nov. 2, four days before the November general election in which Hawley defeated incumbent U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, requesting the investigation.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been corrected to note the accusations were against his office while he was state attorney general.