Current Attorney General Eric Schmitt (r) and Senator and former-Attorney General Josh Hawley (r) are publicly whining about an audit released on Thursday about a portion of Hawley’s (r) short tenure as Missouri Attorney General.
From the audit [pdf]:
…In a December 31, 2019, letter (Appendix I, page 435) in response to seeing a draft copy of this report, the AGO formally objected to the inclusion of interview transcripts in this report, and stated the inclusion of these transcripts would be a disclosure of audit working papers, and therefore, a felony violation of Chapter 29, RSMo. The SAO disagrees with this conclusion. Objections to the inclusion of interview transcripts and audit communications citing Chapter 29, RSMo, are without merit. The confidentiality provisions of Chapter 29 are intended to protect the SAO’s working papers from public disclosure. The interpretation that those confidentiality provisions are intended to keep the SAO from disclosing information obtained during the course of the audit is at odds with Chapter 29, RSMo, and Yellow Book requirements, which both require a report of information obtained during an audit be made public. In addition, the statement that the inclusion of working papers as appendices to a public report is unprecedented is not accurate. Including information obtained during an audit as appendices is very common and not unique to this administration. Appendices have been part of audit reports issued by the SAO for decades…
A statement, issued Thursday by the State Auditor’s Office in response to Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s (r) very public whining:
Statement from State Auditor’s Office after Attorney General Schmitt incorrectly understands the Auditor’s authority
The State Auditor’s Office today released the following statement:
“Any criticism by Attorney General Schmitt regarding the laws that govern the State Auditor’s authority rings hollow. In 2013, then-Senator Schmitt voted in favor of expanding the authority of the Auditor’s Office to conduct investigations. Additionally, the Attorney General is currently prosecuting public corruption cases where we utilized this same authority to expose wrongdoing.
“Per Chapter 29, RSMo of Missouri Law, the State Auditor’s Office has the authority to disclose information in a public audit report, unless another provision of law specifically prohibits it. There is not any law that prohibits the disclosure of sworn testimony gathered in the course of an audit. ”
The 2013 legislation referenced above was House Bill 116.
State Auditor Nicole Galloway (D) is badass.
Why, she should be our next governor.
Attorney General Eric Schmitt (r): projection (February 7, 2020)
Sen. and former Attorney General Josh Hawley (r): Perp Tweet (February 7, 2020)