TIMELINE: Here’s How Josh Hawley Tried to Cover Up His Failure to Create a Public Corruption Unit

Josh Hawley’s first major campaign promise when running for Attorney General was to put together a Public Corruption Unit to clean up Jefferson City and “end pay to play.”

Yet over the first six months of his tenure as Attorney General, Hawley didn’t make a single move to create a Public Corruption Unit or go after corruption in Jefferson City — in fact, he even ignored bipartisan calls to investigate one of his biggest campaign donors for pay-to-play.

As reported in the Kansas City Star, it was only when the Missouri Democratic Party submitted a sunshine request for any internal correspondence related to a Public Corruption Unit did Hawley then try to cover up the fact that he had failed to fulfill this central campaign promise to Missourians.

“Attorney General Josh Hawley is clearly the worst type of politician — saying one thing to get elected, doing another once in office, and trying to cover his tracks when found out,” said Meira Bernstein, Missouri Democratic Party Communications Director.

Here’s a timeline of exactly how Josh Hawley tried to coverup his failure to create a Public Corruption Unit:

  • Nov 8: Josh Hawley is elected Attorney General on a promise to create a Public Corruption Unit to clean up the pay-to-play culture in Jefferson City.
  • April 19: Hawley’s biggest campaign donor and the State Senate President are accused of pay-to-play.
  • April 25: Hawley says his office “doesn’t have criminal jurisdiction over pay-to-play allegations.”
  • July 12: The Attorney General’s office confirms receipt of a sunshine request from the Missouri Democratic Party (MDP) requesting any emails regarding a public corruption unit.
  • July 13: Internal documents show that Attorney General Josh Hawley personally requests that his office add a “Public Corruption Team” page to the Attorney General’s website.
  • July 24: The Attorney General’s office puts out a press release touting a third “corruption prosecution case” by his “Public Corruption Team” — the first mention of such a team in a public press release during his tenure.
  • August 10: The Attorney General’s office responds to a DSCC sunshine request for any records regarding a public corruption unit. The responsive documents show that there were no written communications within the AG’s office about a public corruption team until the day after they confirmed receipt of the MDP sunshine request.

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