Continuing coverage of Gov. Eric Greitens after indictment
ST. LOUIS - Gov. Eric Greitens will step down from the Republican Governors Association's executive committee amid backlash from other lawmakers after he was indicted on Thursday. The Missouri Republican Party also sats the indictment is a "political hit job" by the Democratic prosecutor.
The indictment for invasion of privacy follows an investigation that started in January, after Greitens admitted to an affair with his hairdresser. Greitens allegedly took a compromising photo of a woman without her consent during an extramarital affair in March 2015, before he was elected. Greitens released a statement saying he make a mistake but "did not commit a crime."
Greitens' spokeswoman says the facts will be argued in court and not in the media.
The governor will also forgo attending the RGA's weekend meetings in Washington, D.C.
Many lawmakers are demanding that Greitens resign due to his indictment. The second-highest ranking member of the Missouri Senate, Sen. Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City), questioned whether Greitens can effectively keep leading the state following his indictment. Senate Majority Leader Kehoe said in a statement on Friday that Greitens’ actions have damaged the reputation of the office of governor.
Other lawmakers posted to Twitter and Facebook about the allegations. Republican Sen. Caleb Rowden, of Columbia, said on Twitter that he was "disgusted to learn" a grand jury found sufficient evidence to indict the governor on a charge of felony invasion of privacy. He also said Greitens should step down for the “sake of our state.” Republican Rep. Kevin Corlew, of Kansas City, said in a Facebook post that he doesn’t believe Greitens can “effectively perform the duties of his office.”
Sam Cooper, The Republican party's executive director, says the invasion of privacy law Greitens is accused of violating has never been prosecuted in this way in the past. He says that "Missourians should see this for what it is, a political hit job."
The attorney for Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says the governor wanted to meet with the prosecutor prior to his indictment but she refused.
Susan Ryan is the prosecutor's spokeswoman. She says Greitens' legal team requested a "secret" meeting involving only attorneys to share what they called the "human" side of Greitens' story. Ryan says no new information or facts were being offered, so Gardner deemed the meeting unnecessary.
Greitens was released on a personal recognizance bond Thursday that allows him to travel freely throughout the U.S.
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