U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., was the target of "a political stunt" when he was served with a subpoena following his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland, his spokeswoman said Friday.
The subpoena was reportedly delivered by the process server of Elad Gross, a Democratic candidate for Missouri attorney general who is suing Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s office.
“We got him,” Gross tweeted before noon on Friday. “After more than two weeks of evading service, Senator Josh Hawley was personally served with the subpoena at CPAC.”
Gross said the subpoena was issued in early February by the Cole County Circuit Court at his request because of Hawley’s alleged mishandling of Missouri’s Sunshine Law – which deals with government transparency – while he was state attorney general, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. A subpoena was reportedly served to Hawley's office in early February, but not to Hawley personally.
Gross said in a news release around that time that he had sought records of correspondence between Gov. Parson and a nonprofit group but was informed his request would cost $3,600 and take six months to process, the Kansas City Star reported.
Gross charged that Hawley, who was attorney general at the time, failed to enforce the Sunshine Law by not taking action against Parson for his supposed lack of transparency.
Kelli Ford, a spokeswoman for Hawley, reacted to Gross's remarks Friday.
“This is another political stunt by a political candidate," Ford told the Star. "The reality is that Mr. Gross has been evading a court date to discuss the matter."
"This is another political stunt by a political candidate. The reality is that Mr. Gross has been evading a court date to discuss the matter."
Ford was referring to a hearing in the case being rescheduled from Friday to mid-March.
Gross has denied Ford's accusations, according to the Post-Dispatch.
The subpoena came amid other allegations, by the liberal group American Democracy Legal Fund, that Hawley used public resources while state attorney general to bolster his successful U.S. Senate bid. But on Thursday, Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said his office found no evidence to support those allegations.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.