Senator Claire McCaskill’s (D) statement on a press phone call this morning in response to newspaper reports of political consultants operating and dictating operations in Attorney General Josh Hawley’s official state office shortly after he took office in 2017:
Senator Claire McCaskill (D): Good morning everybody. Um, I want to, uh, with the eye of a prosecutor I want to calmly review the facts as they have been presented in the article that was published yesterday by the Kansas City Star. First, as background, it is against the law to use state resources for political gain. You cannot use taxpayer paid staff to assist in any political purpose. The last Republican attorney general went to prison for utilizing his state office and his state staff to promote him politically. Those are the facts.
Now, look at the facts that were presented yesterday. Within ten days of taking office Hawley had his Washington, D.C. political consultants in his official office running meetings, sending emails to state paid staff, creating punch lists for state paid staff, communicating efforts to politically promote him nationally to taxpayer paid staff. We know that political operatives were working on budgets, staffing, and office organization. We know that taxpayer funded staff was confused about who they reported to and who they even worked for, their state paid supervisors or the political operatives. And this information did not come into the public sphere by virtue of any of his political opponents. I was just as surprised, the people who work on my campaign were just as surprised as every Missourian when we read this article yesterday.
This is information that is being given by people who worked in that office, who I’m sure were struck by how inappropriate and potentially illegal it was to have politically paid operatives embedded in the state official office for purposes of promoting Josh Hawley politically, both in the State of Missouri and nationally.
We remember William Webster (r). He went to prison.