Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri has demanded that a special prosecutor be appointed to investigate a sting operation that exposed previously secret alleged ties to Planned Parenthood and various gun-control-advocacy groups.
McCaskill’s campaign manager David Kirby called on her Republican Senate challenger Josh Hawley, the sitting Missouri attorney general, to appoint a special prosecutor to launch an investigation into the video-surveillance operation that captured her staffers discussing tactics used to conceal Planned Parenthood’s financial support for their campaign.
“We have reason to believe that fraud has been committed against our campaign,” Kirby told reporters Wednesday. “There’s no question that the videos were captured under false pretenses and misrepresentations, which under Missouri law is fraud.”
McCaskill accused Hawley of participating in the sting operation during a Tuesday television appearance.
“It is startling that Josh Hawley would be part of fraudulently embedding somebody in my campaign,” McCaskill told KOLR-10 in Springfield, Missouri on Tuesday.
Hawley, who previously denied participating in the operation, dismissed the notion of a possible investigation in a response posted to Twitter Wednesday.
Let’s review last 24 hrs. 1) @clairecmc & staff caught on tape telling the truth 2) McCaskill accuses ME of fraud 3) McCaskill demands Missouri give her special prosecutor to investigate her truth telling #MOsen
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) October 17, 2018
In the secretly captured surveillance video, released Wednesday by the controversial right-wing investigative group Project Veritas, McCaskill campaign staffer Nicholas Starost explained that Planned Parenthood secretly funnels donations to the senator to avoid the scrutiny of Missouri’s conservative electorate.
“They go through other means to get us that money,” Starost says while being recorded on a hidden camera. “They specifically will not donate to us.”
“It’s f**king beautiful. It’s great when it works for us and not against us, let’s be honest,” he adds.
“It’s not that they don’t support Claire, it’s because they know it’s a tough state to win for a Democrat,” explains another staffer. “Because even some moderate Democrats are pro-life, and even those Republicans that are going to vote for Claire because they’re pretty moderate, she could lose them if Planned Parenthood donated money to her.”
A separate video revealed that gun-control groups use similar tactics to those employed by Planned Parenthood to surreptitiously donate to McCaskill.
“I’ve made no secret that I think we can support the Second Amendment, and universal background checks, and banning bump stocks,” McCaskill said in a statement released after the gun-control video. “My gun record is out in the open for everyone to see. What’s really telling about this is how far they’re willing to go to fraudulently embed somebody in my campaign. That’s startling. I’ve never seen that in a U.S. Senate campaign before in the state of Missouri.”