A judge on Monday will consider whether the pivotal witness in Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ criminal trial, a woman involved in an affair with him, should be prohibited from testifying. Circuit Judge Rex Burlison will preside over the hearing, just a week before Greitens stands trial for felony invasion of privacy.
The married Republican governor is accused of taking an unauthorized photo of the woman during a sexual encounter in 2015, before he was elected. Later this week, lawmakers convene in special session to consider impeachment.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo- The Missouri Legislature will convene later this month to consider impeaching Gov. Eric Greitens following allegations of sexual misconduct and misuse of charity resources.llegations of sexual misconduct and misuse of charity resources.
House and Senate leaders announced Thursday that they had enough petition signatures of lawmakers to convene a special session at 6:30 p.m. on May 18 _ just 30 minutes after the regular session ends.
It will mark the first time in Missouri history that a Legislature has called itself into a special session.
The move comes as Greitens faces two felony charges _ one related to a 2015 extramarital affair and the other to using a charity donor list for his gubernatorial campaign.
If the House votes to impeach Greitens, the Senate would choose a judicial panel to conduct a trial on whether to remove him from office.
(Reuters) – Missouri Governor Eric Greitens lied to state ethics officials about how a list of major donors to his former charity was obtained for use by his gubernatorial campaign, a state House of Representatives panel concluded in a report on Wednesday.
The special committee, already investigating unrelated sexual misconduct and invasion-of-privacy allegations against Greitens, based its latest findings on sworn statements given to the panel and the state attorney general by several former campaign and charity associates.
Lawyers for the governor dismissed the matter in a statement as “a minor campaign finance issue” resolved a year ago. They also criticized the House panel for failing to seek testimony from current campaign representatives.
How Greitens, a former U.S. Navy Seal commando, acquired and used the donor list from the military veterans charity he founded in 2007 was investigated by the Missouri Ethics Commission last year.
State Attorney General Josh Hawley has been conducting his own probe of the charity, The Mission Continues, which Greitens left as chief executive four years ago to run for governor.
Hawley’s investigation led St. Louis prosecutors to charge the governor last month with felony computer tampering, alleging he obtained and transmitted the donor list without the charity’s consent for his own political gain.
Greitens, a Republican, has come under mounting pressure from Missouri politicians of both parties to resign since becoming embroiled in a separate scandal stemming from an admitted extramarital affair with a hairdresser.
He was charged in February with felony invasion of privacy for allegedly taking a compromising photo without the consent of a woman with whom he was involved and threatening to blackmail her with it. Hawley, also a Republican, has said the findings of an earlier House committee report on the sex scandal were grounds for impeachment.
Greitens, once seen as a rising star in the Republican Party, has called the allegations in both cases part of a “smear” campaign orchestrated by St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, a Democrat. He says he is innocent and has vowed to clear his name in court.
Greitens acknowledged to the ethics commission that he used the charity donor list to raise money for his gubernatorial bid and asserted the list itself was an “in-kind” contribution to his campaign, received from a man named Danny Laub on the charity’s behalf.
As part of a consent decree settling the ethics inquiry, Greitens paid a $100 fine and signed an amended campaign finance report stating Laub had donated The Mission Continues’ list to the campaign in March 2015.
But the House committee said Laub was actually a campaign employee who never worked for the charity and was thus never in a position to authorize disclosure of its donor information to Greitens or anyone else.
Laub himself testified Greitens’ campaign manager tricked him into taking part in the deception, the House panel reported.
In reality, a charity employee had furnished Greitens with the list by email at his direction under false pretenses when he stepped down as the charity’s CEO in May 2014, according to the committee.
The report said Krystal Proctor, a one-time Greitens assistant at the charity who went on to work for his campaign, then passed the list along in January and April 2015 to other campaign operatives, again at Greitens’ behest.
“Laub did not contribute the list to the campaign. Instead it was contributed by Greitens himself through his directions to Proctor,” the committee concluded.
The committee noted that the charity’s nondisclosure policies expressly barred providing the donor list to outside parties without its permission.
Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Paul Tait
ST. LOUIS, MO- The Missouri House approved a measure that would allow people with terminal and serious illnesses in the state access to smokeless forms of medical marijuana. Now it heads to the Senate for more debate. Brandon Costerison, Public Awareness Specialist with the National Council On Alcoholism And Drug Abuse joins FOX2 to discuss…
ST. LOUIS, MO- The Missouri House approved a measure that would allow people with terminal and serious illnesses in the state access to smokeless forms of medical marijuana.
Now it heads to the Senate for more debate.
Brandon Costerison, Public Awareness Specialist with the National Council On Alcoholism And Drug Abuse joins FOX2 to discuss NCADA position on the new measure.
FOX 2 and KPLR 11 have partnered with NCADA in the Spirit Of St. Louis to start the conversations to protect your family. Talking to your kids can cut the risk of drug use in half.
Judge Rex Burlison ruled against the Republican governor’s legal team, which filed a motion last week accusing Kim Gardner, the Democratic circuit attorney for the city of St. Louis, of prosecutorial misconduct. The lawyers had argued that Gardner tried to conceal video evidence favorable to the governor and his assertions that the affair was entirely consensual.
Greitens was indicted in February on a single felony count of invasion of privacy, charging he took a photo of a woman in a state of undress without her consent and then made it accessible by computer to use as retaliation should she divulge their relationship.
The alleged offense occurred in March 2015, the year before Greitens, a married father of two and a former U.S. Navy SEAL commando, was elected governor. If convicted, he would face up to four years in prison.
Greitens has admitted to a months-long affair with the woman. But he has denied blackmailing her or other criminal wrongdoing. Instead, he has cast himself as the victim of a “political witch-hunt” for private transgressions that have nothing to do with his job as governor.
His lawyers have noted neither prosecutors nor anyone else has produced the photograph in question. The woman testified to a state House of Representatives committee that she believes it was taken while she was bound and blindfolded, and partially nude, in Greitens’ basement.
Writing by Steve Gorman and Suzannah Gonzales; Editing by Dan Grebler and Jonathan Oatis