Can Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt Win a Senate Seat and Defeat China?

click to enlarge Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is heading into a multi-front war. - COURTESY MISSOURI ATTORNEY GENERAL
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is heading into a multi-front war.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced this morning on Fox News that he is officially running for the U.S. Senate, which begs the question: Who will carry on his extremely serious suit against China?

Schmitt, as Missourians will recall, sued the People's Republic of China this past April for the "appalling campaign of deceit, concealment, misfeasance, and inaction by Chinese authorities unleashed this pandemic."

The suit fell in line with then-President Donald Trump's strategy of blaming China for COVID-19. Faced with criticism over his administration's slow response to the pandemic, Trump continuously referred to the coronavirus as the "China virus," despite signs the rhetoric was resulting in increased violence and harassment of Asians.

In Missouri, Governor Mike Parson was similarly criticized for refusing to take steps such as mask mandates to curb the spread, despite repeated pleas from doctors and public health experts.

Schmitt's suit, filed on behalf of Missouri taxpayers, focused not on state or federal response, but the "critical weeks of the initial outbreak" in China.

"Defendants are responsible for the enormous death, suffering, and economic losses they inflicted on the world, including Missourians, and they should be held accountable," the suit reads.

The lawsuit earned Schmitt national press when it was filed, but he talks about it less these days. He's missed most of the backlash that resulted from the shooting spree in Atlanta in which six of eight victims were Asian women working in spas.

But Schmitt's suit against China has doggedly continued. China hasn't actually responded and seems to have decided to simply ignore the Missouri attorney general. So what is Schmitt to do now? And will he be able to remain in the breach, defending Missourians against China, now that he's heading into what is sure to be a battle for Sen. Roy Blunt's seat? His resources will certainly be taxed as he competes against ex-Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens for the approval of Trump supporters. What if Schmitt wins and his successor doesn't have the same zeal for sending summonses to the Wuhan Institute of Virology?

There is some help. The suit has attracted an intervenor working for the cause. In a filing entered in February, a legal wunderkind by the name of Jeffrey Cutler joined the suit on the side of Schmitt. Here's an excerpt from his 321-page filing: "It is believed this is has been based on BRIBES and COLUSION with funds from CHINA to hide an international effort to engage in [[Biological warfare]] with a primary target being the United States, and DESTROY the value of the UNITED STATES DOLLAR. DR. FAUCCI, KRISTEN WELKER and Persons of the CDC have LIED about an Approved Vaccine to Stop COMPLICATIONS from the FLU & COVID-19."

So Cutler is on it, but just how much Schmitt will be able to devote to the fight is an open question. Greitens did seem to struggle a bit with questions from conservative commentary Hugh Hewitt about whether he was "Todd Akin 2.0," but he is a fighter and will challenge Schmitt on his Trump-backer credentials. And there are sure to be other candidates.

Given the pull on his time and resources, will Schmitt truly be able to make China pay? We've reached out to the attorney general for comment and will update this post if we hear back.
  • Sign up for our weekly newsletters to get the latest on the news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.
  • Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Scroll to read more St. Louis Metro News articles


Join Riverfront Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.