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Lawmakers questioned about Greitens as part of inquiry

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Investigators from the St. Louis prosecutor's office have visited the Missouri Capitol and interviewed at least two dozen lawmakers as the office checks into Gov. Eric Greitens.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner launched an investigation in January after Greitens admitted to a 2015 affair with his St. Louis hairdresser, before Greitens was elected in 2016. Greitens has denied taking a compromising photo of the woman as potential blackmail.

Multiple lawmakers, including Republican House Speaker Todd Richardson and GOP Senate Majority Leader Mike Kehoe, told the Kansas City Star and St. Louis Post-Dispatch they met with investigators Wednesday. Richardson and Kehoe declined to provide details about what they discussed.

Kirksville Republican Rep. Nate Walker had said investigators asked him about so-called dark money campaign contributions that are routed through nonprofits to hide their source. He later told the Star that he could not remember whether the investigators were the ones to first raise questions about Greitens and campaign finance or if Walker brought up those issues.

Walker was an early supporter of Greitens but was among Republican lawmakers who urged the governor to resign after he acknowledged the affair.

Sens. Rob Schaaf, a Republican, and Maria Chappelle-Nadal, a Democrat, also said investigators were in the Capitol. Schaaf, a frequent critic of Greitens, told the Post-Dispatch he wanted to shed light on the investigation.

"If they are in the building talking to people . I thought I should get that into the public sphere," Schaaf said.

Chappelle-Nadal mentioned the investigators during a Senate debate, but said she had not had a chance to speak with them.

Jim Bennett, Greitens' attorney, said the governor's team is "aware the circuit attorney has announced an investigation and believe any fair investigation will result in a conclusion that Gov. Greitens has committed no wrongdoing." A message left Thursday with a spokesman for the governor was not immediately returned.

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