Mojahedin Khalq attempt to place lobbyist Josh Hawley in Senate may yet backfire

In July 2016 Josh Hawley was implicated in a scandal exposed by the Financial Times. Hawley, along with John Bolton and Michael Mukasey were paid by the foreign terrorist organisation Mojahedin Khalq (MEK) for advocacy.

Hawley is currently running for Senate, presumably with MEK backing. It is not clear yet whether his past will catch up with him.

Josh Hawley

Josh Hawley could be drawn into Eric Greitens investigation despite hands-off approach

David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, Feb 23, 2018

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, the presumptive Republican nominee for Senate, could be drawn into the investigation into Gov. Eric Greitens, who was indicted Thursday by a grand jury on charges relating to allegations of sexual impropriety.

Republican insiders are fretting that the Greitens affair could put undo political strain on Hawley’s bid to unseat Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who is vulnerable in the midterm but is a tough campaigner. Hawley, in his position as state attorney general, could be asked to assist in the Greitens probe by local prosecuting attorneys, and plans to answer the call if it comes.

“A felony indictment by a grand jury is a serious matter. There is no place for party or partisanship. The criminal justice system must be allowed to work. I am confident the House’s investigation will be thorough and swift, and will proceed without regard to party,” Hawley said Friday, in a statement issued through his attorney general’s office.

Hawley exudes the image of a straight-laced conservative — the opposite of Greitens since it was revealed that he engaged an extramarital affair with a hairdresser before he was elected governor. Greitens was indicted on felony charges of invasion of privacy related to that affair.

Private polling conducted before the indictment showed Greitens’ support with voters holding, suggesting he might be able to weather the storm. He is vowing to fight the charges, even as Republicans in the Missouri legislature have begun to turn on him.

“As I have said before, I made a personal mistake before I was Governor. I did not commit a crime,” the governor said Thursday, in a statement emailed to political supporters and campaign contributors.

“With today’s disappointing and misguided political decision, my confidence in our prosecutorial system is shaken, but not broken. I know this will be righted soon. The people of Missouri deserve better than a reckless liberal prosecutor who uses her office to score political points. I look forward to the legal remedies to reverse this action. This will not for a moment deter me from doing the important work of the great people of Missouri,” Greitens added.

The Hawley campaign has been gaming out how to navigate the Greitens scandal, but there’s not much to do as long as the attorney general could be called on to participate in the investigation. Missouri is a Republican-leaning state, voting for President Trump by a 20-point margin.

But some Republican operatives worry the matter could end up negatively impacting Hawley’s campaign.

“McCaskill is already a tough beat and we’re not helped by Greitens’ situation. If this isn’t taken care of it runs a good chance of materially hurting our chances to take this Senate seat. The situation isn’t yet critical but it shows every sign of moving in that direction,” a Missouri GOP insider said.

Release: Schaefer Campaign Calls on Hawley Supporters to Disclose Ties to Iranian Terror Organization

Press Release, Missouri Times, July 14, 2016

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Kurt Schaefer’s campaign today called on supporters of Josh Hawley to disclose their financial ties to the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran [PMOI]. Since releasing an ad highlighting Hawley’s documented work on behalf of the PMOI, a group that killed American soldiers, a number of Washington DC insiders including John Bolton and Michael Mukasey have come sprinting to Hawley’s defense. The problem? They failed to disclose their paid work for the group.

“Josh Hawley’s allies in Washington DC have spent millions falsely attacking Kurt Schaefer, and now they’re defending his paid work for an organization on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations,” Schaefer Campaign Manager Scott Dieckhaus said. “But Hawley’s friends in Washington DC have failed to disclose that they have been compensated, just like Hawley, by the PMOI to advocate for their removal from the terrorist list. As if their work on behalf of a terrorist group that killed American soldiers wasn’t enough, now they have failed to disclose that they were on the group’s payroll. Hawley and his allies should come clean and disclose their paid advocacy on behalf of the PMOI.”

A Financial Times story highlighted both, Mukasey and Bolton’s involvement with the group. Excerpts from a story include:

“An Iranian exile group is spending millions of dollars in a lobbying effort to be removed from the US’s list of foreign terrorist organisations, recruiting a group of US national security luminaries to be its advocates. Dozens of former officials across the political spectrum – from conservative John Bolton to liberal Howard Dean – have been paid tens of thousands of dollars to speak at events organised by supporters of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq, or People’s Mujahedin, in the US, the Financial Times has learnt.”

“Lee Hamilton, a former Democratic chairman of the House foreign relations committee, and Michael Mukasey, attorney-general in the last Bush administration, both told the FT they were paid for speaking at MEK-linked events.”

“Mr Bolton, George W. Bush’s ambassador to the UN, said he did not see the fact he was being paid “as an issue”, while Mr Dean, the former Democratic national committee chairman, dismissed the question as a “sideshow”.

“None would disclose how much they had been paid, but Ed Rendell, the former Pennsylvania governor, said he received $20,000 for an 11-minute speech. “But even if I was paid $50,000, I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t believe in it,” he said.”

The full story can be found here:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/cc6d5774-b23d-11e0-9d80-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz4EJHoryLp

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