JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri's top law enforcement official is fighting a lawsuit seeking to block him from investigating Backpage.com.
Attorney General Josh Hawley filed a motion Tuesday against Backpage, saying its lawsuit is frivolous and should be tossed.
Hawley launched an investigation of the company this year and in May issued civil investigative demands seeking documents from Backpage, which hasn't complied.
Backpage sued Hawley in response, saying it doesn't have control over sex-related ads posted on the website and has immunity from potential lawsuits over such ads.
NBC News has reported that documents show that a Backpage contractor has been involved in creating or developing third-party content for Backpage ads overseas. Hawley contends that evidence uncovered by his office supports that.
An attorney for Backpage didn't immediately reply to a request for comment.
Backpage currently faces various criminal cases and civil lawsuits around the country.