JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Times has learned that investigators from the Missouri Ethics Commission will take depositions Thursday morning as they investigate the ethics complaint from the Missouri Democratic Party that charges Republican gubernatorial nominee Eric Greitens’ campaign with using a donor list from his nonprofit to solicit funds for his campaign.
Last month, the Associated Press reported that Greitens used a donor list from The Mission Continues, a nonprofit for veterans that he founded in 2007, in order to make a list of possible campaign donors that would contribute to his campaign. The AP found that Greitens had received nearly $2 million from donors who had initially given to The Mission Continues, accompanied by an Excel spreadsheet of people who had donated at least $1,000 to The Mission Continues. The nonprofit is a 501(c)(3), and as such federal law dictates it cannot intervene to help a particular candidate.
During the campaign, Greitens has explained that the reason he so successfully raises money from large donors outside the state is through connections he made via The Mission Continues and his other endeavors before he turned his eye on the political realm.
Sources have confirmed to The Missouri Times that the ethics commission has issued subpoenas to Michael Hafner who previously worked at The Greitens Group before working for John Brunner’s gubernatorial campaign. Subpoenas have also been issued to other staffers from The Greitens Group and the Greitens for Governor campaign that might have knowledge of the use of the charity’s resources to promote Greitens political career.
Hafner, a former staffer for Greitens’ exploratory committee and a subject of the AP report, said he had no comment about the development.
Roy Temple, the chair of the MDP, said that the MEC does not inform the party of the daily updates in the case, but he was pleased that the MEC was looking into what he called an “exploitation” of The Mission Continues by Greitens for political purposes. He said that given the evidence and the report from the Associated Press, he believes that Greitens “abused his role” as the founder and CEO of The Mission Continues.
“We’re glad they’re investigating it and taking it seriously because we believe it’s a serious matter,” Temple said.
The Missouri Ethics Commission does not comment on ongoing investigations, and the Greitens campaign did not immediately return calls for comment.