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Lawmakers questioned about Greitens as part of inquiry

by Associated Press | February 15, 2018 at 3:55 p.m. | Updated February 16, 2018 at 4:03 p.m.
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens speaks during an interview in his office at the Missouri Capitol Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, in Jefferson City, Mo. Greitens discussed having an extramarital affair in 2015 before taking office. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Investigators from the St. Louis prosecutor's office have visited the Missouri Capitol in the investigation of Gov. Eric Greitens, and one lawmaker suggests the probe has expanded to include a look at the Republican governor's use of "dark money."

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner launched an investigation in January after Greitens admitted to a 2015 affair with his St. Louis hairdresser, before Greitens was elected in 2016. Greitens has denied taking a compromising photo of the woman as potential blackmail.

Multiple lawmakers told the Kansas City Star and St. Louis Post-Dispatch they met with investigators Wednesday.

Kirksville Republican Rep. Nate Walker said investigators asked him about so-called dark money campaign contributions that are routed through nonprofits to hide their source.

"They're asking about a lot of things ... dark money and different things like that," Walker told the Star. He said that based on the questions he was asked it appears to be a "pretty broad investigation."

Walker was an early supporter of Greitens but was among Republican lawmakers who urged the governor to resign after he acknowledged the affair.

Sens. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, and Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, also said investigators were in the Capitol. Schaaf, a frequent critic of Greitens, told the Post-Dispatch he wanted to shed light on the investigation.

"If they are in the building talking to people . I thought I should get that into the public sphere," Schaaf said.

Chappelle-Nadal mentioned the investigators during a Senate debate, but said she had not had a chance to speak with them.

Jim Bennett, Greitens' attorney, said the governor's team is "aware the circuit attorney has announced an investigation and believe any fair investigation will result in a conclusion that Gov. Greitens has committed no wrongdoing." A message left Thursday with a spokesman for the governor was not immediately returned.

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