Secretary of State clears former AG Hawley of campaign violations

Missouri’s Secretary of State has cleared former Attorney General Josh Hawley of allegations that he used public funds to support his candidacy for the United States Senate.

A group called the “American Democracy Legal Fund” filed a November complaint alleging that Hawley used outside political consultants to direct employees in the attorney general’s office to do tasks that would raise Hawley’s image.

GOP Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said he didn’t find probable cause to believe Hawley violated state law:

“But looking at that from a comprehensive standpoint, we did not see any evidence that any public funds were used for campaign purposes,” he said.

At best, Ashcroft said, the communication between the consultants and office employees was to advocate for positions Hawley ran on in 2016.

“When we looked at the evidence here, what we found was evidence of the Attorney General’s office doing what he said he would do when he campaigned, and telling people as he was doing that,” said Ashcroft.

The investigation found only that the consultants assisted AGO office employees in implementing Hawley’s priorities.

A spokeswoman for Hawley’s office praised the report.

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