The Missouri State House announced plans Thursday to investigate allegations of political bias in the Missouri state auditor’s investigation into Sen. Josh Hawley’s (R-MO) time as the state’s attorney general.
Missouri State Rep. Robert Ross (R-MO), chairman of the House Special Committee on Government Oversight, wrote a letter to State Auditor Nicole Galloway, saying that his committee plans to investigate whether Galloway’s investigation of Hawley was tainted by political bias.
Ross said that if the claims of political bias against Galloway were true, then it would harm her image as an unbiased investigator.
The Missouri representative said, “This allegation would constitute an extreme breach in the confidence the people of Missouri place in the role of your office.”
“As a member who relies heavily on the findings of fact-based, unbiased audits that are meant to be performed by your office, I am concerned by the recent claim that political ramifications were considered in altering the conclusion of one of your recent audits,” he added.
Michael Moorefield, Galloway’s chief of staff, said that the auditor’s office cannot comment on ongoing audits.
Steph Deidrick, a spokeswoman for Galloway’s office, told a local Missouri paper that Galloway reached out to Hawley’s office after reports discussed the potential political bias within the audit of the senator.
Hawley released a letter recently that found that Galloway cleared the senator of wrongdoing when he was the state’s attorney general. The letter also claimed there was “deeply troubling” Democrat bias during the investigation of the Missouri senator.
Galloway’s lead auditor assigned to investigate Hawley’s case, Pamela Allison, reportedly discussed “altering” the audit’s conclusions to make the audit seem more critical of the Missouri senator and his office.
Galloway also hired former Sen. Claire McCaskill’s (D-MO) campaign manager, David Kirby, who personally promoted the attacks against Hawley in what Hawley’s lawyer Brian Barnes charged was supposed to be an “independent” review.
Further, Barnes noted Bobby Showers, a member of the audit team, wrote recently any senator that opposes removing President Donald Trump from office “will go down in history as not fulfilling their oath to their country.”
“Additionally, it calls into question whether state resources were used for political gain,” Barnes said.
Gregg Keller, a top Missouri Republican operative, told Breitbart News last week that the news of potential political bias has “gone off like a bombshell in Missouri Republican circles.”
Keller also predicted that the Missouri legislature would investigate the claim.
Keller said this latest instance “gives every appearance that this is an ongoing and troubling pattern of behavior of an elected official using her official office for political purposes.”