'We got him': GOP senator served with subpoena immediately after exiting the stage at CPAC
The annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was quite a spectacle, with everything from attacks on "the ghost of John McCain" to speakers claiming Democrats want to take your hamburgers and make you eat dog food.
But for newly-minted Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), the festivities were dampened slightly.
According to the Kansas City Star, immediately after exiting the stage at CPAC on Friday, Hawley was served with a subpoena:
Elad Gross, a Democratic candidate for attorney general who is suing Missouri Gov. Mike Parson's office, said on Twitter that the Missouri senator was served moments after he completed his appearance.
"We got him," Gross said. "After more than two weeks of evading service, Senator Josh Hawley was personally served with the subpoena at CPAC."
Gross wants to depose Hawley over his handling of Missouri's "Sunshine Law" as attorney general during the 2018 midterm election, when he successfully ran for Senate. Hawley, for his part, is seeking to quash the subpoena, and his spokeswoman Kelli Ford has dismissed it as "a political stunt by a political candidate."
While Hawley is not directly named as a party to Gross' lawsuit, he has faced mounting questions about whether he violated the Sunshine Law when the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) asked his office for his emails with OnMessage, a group of out-of-state political consultants. At the time, Hawley's office claimed there were no emails to turn over — but subsequent reporting showed he had in fact emailed OnMessage consultants using a private account he had not disclosed.
Hawley's consultant operation itself has been the subject of scrutiny and an investigation by Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft. Previous reports suggested that Hawley used these consultants to run the attorney general's office while he executed his bid for Senate — which would be illegal if taxpayer money mingled with his campaign activities, and at the very least is a betrayal of his election promise not to leverage one office "to get to another." A New York Times exposé last year revealed this arrangement threw Hawley's office into chaos, with staffers confused about the chain of command, civil rights litigators quitting, judges blasting Hawley for incompetent, delayed discovery, insufficient vetting for top aides, and millions of dollars of taxpayer money wasted.
It does not appear as if these problems will go away any time soon. Hawley should hold himself accountable, and cooperate.