One-on-one: Eric Schmitt reflects on time as Missouri AG, explains U.S. Senate priorities

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – In less than two weeks, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt will be sworn into the United States Senate in Washington D.C.

U.S. Sen.-elect Schmitt recently sat down with FOX 2’s Emily Manley for an exclusive one-on-one interview about his time as the state’s top prosecutor and his plans in the Senate.

A Bridgeton, Missouri native, Schmitt has served as a Missouri State Senator, the state treasurer and attorney general. Voters elected Schmitt last month to replace retiring Missouri U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt.

Schmitt says one of his proudest accomplishments as Missouri Attorney General is working to clear the backlog of thousands of untested sexual assault kits.

“Some go back just a few years, and some go back decades, but we have to make sure this never happens again,” said Schmitt.

Schmitt says it was his job as a father, husband and attorney general to investigate the six thousand sexual assault kits sitting on shelves.

“We’ve got two prosecutions that have taken place, another 10 pending and there will be more. I think that’s because of the work that we’ve done on the inventory of the tracking, the testing and now the prosecution side of it,” said Schmitt.

The SAFE kit initiative has been funded by both federal and state dollars. Andrew Bailey, appointed to attorney general by Missouri governor Mike Parson, will take over responsibliites for it next month.

“We’ve been granted the money to see this thing all the way through, my successor will be able to get to 100 percent, but we’re at 85 percent.”

In Schmitt’s new role, he will work alongside Missouri U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley.

“I’m eager to serve with him,” said Hawley. “I think the people of Missouri are going to be really happy with him. I think he will represent them really well. When it comes to legislation, I expect we’ll have a chance to collaborate frequently.”

“We both have seen how the federal government interacts with our state and some of the challenges that imposes and [we’re] willing to push back and fight back,” said Schmitt.

As the state’s top prosecutor, Schmitt also lead a multi-state lawsuit against U.S. President Joe Biden’s college debt loan forgiveness plan, set to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court next year –

“There is no law anywhere on the books that gives the President of the United States, one person, the ability to wipe away hundreds of billions of dollars worth of student loan debt,” said Schmitt.

He also won a $35 million settlement against big opioid companies. That money is directed towards helping victims with treatment and addition programs

As a U.S. Senator, Schmitt plans to continue to push back against federal overreach –

“I think you look at some of the fights we’ve taken on whether it’s border security, taking on big tech. I think some of the abuses we saw from federal agencies during COVID, a lot of those things, those are fights of my choosing that are really important to have someone stand up for the people of this state,” said Schmitt.