KOMU.com https://www.komu.com/ KOMU.com Greitens Greitens en-us Copyright 2019, KOMU.com. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Tue, 22 Oct 2019 HH:10:ss GMT Synapse CMS 10 KOMU.com https://www.komu.com/ 144 25 Lawsuit filed against nonprofit connected to Eric Greitens https://www.komu.com/news/lawsuit-filed-against-nonprofit-connected-to-eric-greitens/ https://www.komu.com/news/lawsuit-filed-against-nonprofit-connected-to-eric-greitens/ Greitens Sat, 23 Jun 2018 9:52:27 PM Kevin Ko, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Lawsuit filed against nonprofit connected to Eric Greitens

ST. LOUIS - An attorney is suing a nonprofit group connected to former Gov. Eric Greitens for its records.

Attorney Elad Gross filed a petition against A New Missouri to the Cole County Circuit Court on Friday evening. According to a news release, Gross requested documents from the organization in early June, but never received a response.

The lawsuit also includes three board members in A New Missouri: Michael Adams, Robin Simpson and Jeff Stuerman.

A New Missouri was created to promote Greitens' political agenda as governor. Critics call the nonprofit a "dark money" organization because it's allowed to conceal the identities of its donors.

A Missouri House panel originally submitted a subpoena to obtain records from the Greitens campaign and A New Missouri, but withdrew its request from a Cole County judge in early June.


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Timeline: Greitens political career tumultuous despite high points https://www.komu.com/news/timeline-greitens-political-career-tumultuous-despite-high-points/ https://www.komu.com/news/timeline-greitens-political-career-tumultuous-despite-high-points/ Greitens Fri, 1 Jun 2018 4:30:27 PM KOMU Digital Staff Timeline: Greitens political career tumultuous despite high points

COLUMBIA - Eric Greitens framed his political career as an outsider. As of 5 p.m. Friday, he is once again outside the circle of power.

His resignation was spurred by two scandals, one involving blackmail allegations and the other linked to accusations of campaign finance violations.

The timeline below traces events before and during his governorship, through the end of his time in office. (Created by Jacob Cavaiani, Danielle Katz, Joe Ward, Andrea Gonzales, Stephanie Sandoval, Monica Madden and Annie Hammock.)


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Lt. Governor Parson responds to Governor Greitens' resignation https://www.komu.com/news/lt-governor-parson-responds-to-governor-greitens-resignation/ https://www.komu.com/news/lt-governor-parson-responds-to-governor-greitens-resignation/ Greitens Tue, 29 May 2018 8:01:51 PM Joe Ward, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Lt. Governor Parson responds to Governor Greitens' resignation

COLUMBIA - Amid the resignation of Governor Eric Greitens, Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson released a statement Tuesday evening.

The statement said the resignation has, "put the best interest of our state and all Missourians at the forefront where they belong," and it is, "a decision that will allow our state to heal and move forward from what has been a difficult time."

Parson's statement also touched on his future as Missouri's Governor.

The statement said, "This is an enormous responsibility serving as our state's next governor, and I am ready to fulfill the duties of the office with honor and integrity, and with a steadfast commitment to making our great state even greater for the people we are entrusted to serve."

Greitens' resignation is effective Friday, June 1 at 5 p.m. No word yet on when Parson will be sworn in as governor.

Parson told reporters when he arrived at the capitol that he found out earlier this afternoon when he got a phone call while he was out at the farm. He said he's still trying to grasp the Greitens' announcement like everyone else.

When asked about becoming the next governor of Missouri, Parson said, "I feel good about it, I feel good and we're going to be fine... We're going to move Missouri forward."

Parson is a third generation farmer and has a cow and calf operation near Boliver. He has previously served as Polk County Sheriff, a state senator and a state representative. 

According to his online state biography he won 110 of 114 Missouri Counties making him the most victorious lieutenant governor in Missouri history.




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Lawmakers react to Greitens resignation https://www.komu.com/news/lawmakers-react-to-greitens-resignation/ https://www.komu.com/news/lawmakers-react-to-greitens-resignation/ Greitens Wed, 30 May 2018 9:27:43 PM Kamaria Braye, KOMU 8 News Lawmakers react to Greitens resignation

JEFFERSON CITY- Missouri lawmakers have conflicting opinions regarding Greitens' announcement on Tuesday that he plans to resign.

Gina Mitten, D-St. Louis, feels Greitens did the right thing by resigning. Mitten is a member of the Special Investigation Committee, which looked into the possible impeachment of the governor.

"I think that the resignation was long overdue and I'm glad to see that, that has happened," Mitten said.

She said the allegations of Greitens using donations from "A New Missouri" charity made his decision to resign understandable. She said she hopes the Special Investigative Committee can continue to meet regarding the allegations. She also said she believes people in Missouri should trust that lawmakers will hold each other accountable.

"This is an example of government working and making sure that when we find snakes in the swamp, we will, at least in this instance, we were able to do something about it," she said.

KOMU 8 News also spoke with Cheri Reisch, R- Hallsville. Reisch provided this statement, issued on the day Greitens announced his resignation:

"For the last several months I have not rushed to judgment on the allegations surrounding the Governor. I was waiting for all information from all parties to be presented. With today's resignation announcement, I will pray for Governor Greitens and his family. Many good things have happened in Missouri the last year and a half that he was in office and good policies and improvements will continue when Lt. Governor Mike Parson takes the oath."

Greitens resignation will go into effect Friday at 5 p.m.


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Former prosecutor explains why Greitens' chose Tuesday to resign https://www.komu.com/news/former-prosecutor-explains-why-greitens-chose-tuesday-to-resign/ https://www.komu.com/news/former-prosecutor-explains-why-greitens-chose-tuesday-to-resign/ Greitens Tue, 29 May 2018 11:52:44 PM Emily Spain, KOMU 8 Anchor Former prosecutor explains why Greitens' chose Tuesday to resign
COLUMBIA - Former Cole County prosecutor Bill Tackett spoke with KOMU 8 News about why Gov. Greitens chose Tuesday to resign. Tackett explained how a ruling made by a judge earlier in the day led Greitens to step down.

A judge ruled that a nonprofit called A New Missouri, Inc, that promotes Greitens' agenda had to hand over documents. Tackett said information in those documents could expose information the governor does not want made public.

"Once the ruling came down on the dark money with A New Missouri, that's when the room got really cold and silent. Because then you're talking about exposing all of those donors and what they might have to say about that connection between that committee and Greitens and suddenly you've got a circuit attorney's office that's willing to play ball," Tackett said. "That was a giant can of worms that got opened up by that ruling."

Critics say when politicians are sponsored by a non-profit, it lets powerful donors jump through a legal loop hole. The donors can keep their identities and their money hidden. Hence the term, "dark money."
"Instantly that changed the playing field because that's dark money, that's something they don't want to get into because of who gave the money and for what purpose and is it tied to Greitens instead of being independent. So, when that ruling hit it looks like they contacted the circuit attorney's office and said, 'Let's make a plea deal,'" Tacket said.

Tackett said the allegations of improper use of campaign finances by the governor could be tied to a lack of political experience.

"When you look at this historically, when you have people who have not risen up through the political ranks that know the rules, they get a sense of, 'The people sent me here and I'm going to drain the swamp, I'm going to clean out all the hacks.' They tend to operate above the law in their minds because it's a mandate and, 'I'm here for the people,' and they really just haven't been around all of these laws. And, so this does happen to people who don't have any political experience because along with the political experience, and everybody knows the downside, of course, comes an understanding of the law," he said.

Tackett stressed the seriousness of campaign finance fraud saying, "people go to prison for that." He said just because some of the state investigations are wrapping up, doesn't mean the U.S. Attorney's Office won't pursue action as well.

The St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office said Tuesday it made a fair and just deal with Greitens' defense team and added they will release more details Wednesday. The circuit attorney's office is still handling the computer tampering charge against Greitens.

No deals were made in the invasion of privacy case currently being handled by the Jackson County prosecutor after St. Louis' circuit attorney dropped the charge.  No charges are currently filed, but the newly assigned prosecutor is still investigating whether to refile any charges.

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Circuit attorney drops computer tampering case against Greitens https://www.komu.com/news/circuit-attorney-drops-computer-tampering-case-against-greitens/ https://www.komu.com/news/circuit-attorney-drops-computer-tampering-case-against-greitens/ Greitens Wed, 30 May 2018 11:02:05 AM Andrew Carlson, KOMU 8 Reporter Circuit attorney drops computer tampering case against Greitens

ST. LOUIS - St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner announced Wednesday her office will drop the computer tampering case against Gov. Eric Greitens.

"I remain confident that we have the evidence required to pursue charges against Mr. Greitens. But sometimes, pursuing charges is not the right or just thing to do for our city or state," Gardner said in her statement.

Gardner did not take any questions after briefing, but spokeswoman Susan Ryan confirmed off-camera that Greitens' resignation was part of the agreement for the charges to be dropped.

Ryan said Greitens' legal team reached out to Gardner's office over the weekend.

The investigation of the felony invasion of privacy case against Gov. Greitens is still open, but is not being pursued by the St. Louis circuit attorney's office. Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker is overseeing the case, and hasn't determined whether she will re-file the charge after it was dropped on May 14.


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Special prosecutor says Greitens probe continues https://www.komu.com/news/special-prosecutor-says-greitens-probe-continues/ https://www.komu.com/news/special-prosecutor-says-greitens-probe-continues/ Greitens Tue, 29 May 2018 6:20:57 PM The Associated Press Special prosecutor says Greitens probe continues

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - The special prosecutor considering whether to refile an invasion of privacy charge against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says the investigation continues, even though the governor is resigning.

The Republican governor announced Tuesday that he will step down on Friday. A short time later, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said in a statement that her office had reached "fair and just resolution" on criminal charges against Greitens.

Gardner said only that more details would be released Wednesday.

A felony indictment in February accused Greitens of taking an unauthorized and compromising photo of a St. Louis woman during an extramarital affair in 2015

The charge was dropped earlier this month, but Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker was appointed special prosecutor to consider whether to refile it.

Baker says in a statement that the investigation is ongoing and will continue "until our work on the case is completed." She says no deals have been made by her office with Greitens' attorneys.

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In other responses, a national Republican operative says the resignation of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens could help Republicans unify before an important U.S. Senate race

Greitens announced his resignation Tuesday while facing a criminal charge and a legislative investigation that could have led to impeachment.

Some Republicans were worried that Greitens' issues could cause problems for GOP Senate candidate and state Attorney General Josh Hawley in his challenge of Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

But two people with close ties to Republican officials in Washington and Missouri told The Associated Press there was no coordinated effort to push Greitens out.

Senate Leadership Fund President Steven Law says Greitens resignation could help unify Missouri Republicans.

It also could free up money. Some donors had been approached recently to contribute to Greitens' legal defense fund.


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Greitens steps down, says it's time to leave battlefield with "head held high" https://www.komu.com/news/greitens-steps-down-says-it-s-time-to-leave-battlefield-with-head-held-high-/ https://www.komu.com/news/greitens-steps-down-says-it-s-time-to-leave-battlefield-with-head-held-high-/ Greitens Tue, 29 May 2018 4:08:40 PM Annie Hammock, KOMU 8 Interactive Director Greitens steps down, says it's time to leave battlefield with

JEFFERSON CITY – In the midst of two scandals, and facing subpoenas from a special house committee, Gov. Eric Greitens resigned saying it is time to "walk off the battlefield" with head held high. His resignation will be effective at 5 p.m. Friday.

The allegations against him include blackmail related to an extramarital relationship and computer tampering related to “dark money” campaign financing.

Greitens made the announcement at 4:30 p.m., saying "the last few months have been incredibly difficult" and an "ordeal" for his family. His voice broke as he said it is time to "tend to those who have been wounded" and care for those who need it most.

He cited mounting legal bills and endless personal attacks designed to inflict damage. 

Calls for the governor’s resignation grew louder after the House Special Investigative Committee released several reports indicating it finds witnesses against the governor are credible. The legislature is currently in a special session to consider possible disciplinary action against the governor, including the possibility of impeachment.

St. Louis prosecutors say Greitens raised money for his campaign using a donor list he got without permission from The Mission Continues, a charity he founded to help veterans readjust to life after service. Greitens had previously paid a small fine to the state’s Ethics Commission for failing to report it. He faces a felony charge of computer tampering.

The blackmail scandal first surfaced when St. Louis television station KMOV reported the affair on Jan. 10. Its investigation largely centered on an audio recording made by the woman’s former husband.

On the recording, the woman can be heard crying, saying Greitens bound her hands with duct tape, blindfolded her and then took the nude picture without her consent.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner charged Greitens with invasion of privacy, but recently dropped the charge amid criticism of an investigator her office hired. A special prosecutor was designated to look into whether the case should be pursued.

Gardner's office also filed the computer tampering charge. Gardner released a statement today saying she has been in contact with Greitens' defense team over the past several days.

"We have reached a fair and just resolution of the pending charges. We will provide more information tomorrow," her statement said.

In multiple appearances before reporters, Greitens referred to the allegations against him as a political “witch hunt.”

In his resignation announcement, Greitens said he could not allow his critics "to continue to cause pain and difficulty to the people that I love."

"There is no end in sight," he said.

Many lawmakers, including members of his own party, had persistently called for Greitens’ resignation after the scandals surfaced, saying they were a distraction at the very least and, “absolutely appalling” if true.

Shortly after Greitens announced his resignation, House leaders, including speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff,  released a statement saying, "We believe the Governor has put the best interest of Missourians first today by choosing to resign."

The statement said, "The past few months have been difficult for everyone involved, including the Governor and his family. This is a serious and solemn occasion that reminds us that our state and our duty are bigger than any one person or party."

House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty, D-St. Louis,  said, “The brief and deeply troubled term of Eric Greitens is a case study for why Missouri's highest elected office is no place for beginners."

Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin, said the last five months have been "trying times" for Missouri.

“Relationships were strained, and bonds were tested. When the governor took office in January of 2017, I had very high hopes. I believed we were on the path to building a better Missouri. This is not the position I imagined we would be in nearly 16 months later. However, I do believe the governor made the right decision," Richard said.

Sen. Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, tweeted, "Today the great state of Missouri moves forward and recommits to the business of governing."

One of Greitens' biggest detractors, Attorney General Josh Hawley, said "Governor Greitens has done the right thing today."

Greitens, a Rhodes Scholar and a former Navy SEAL, ran as a political outsider.

“When I’m Governor, we’re going to clean up the mess in Jefferson City, restore trust in government, and get real results for people,” he wrote on his campaign website.

Greitens' governorship had other controversies.

He was criticized for his quest to remove Margie Vandeven, the state’s former top education official. Many lawmakers saw that as an overreach of power.

Greitens also came under fire after reports he and his staff were using a message-deleting app called Confide. Critics said erasing messages amounted to the illegal destruction of government documents.

Some political observers believed Greitens could have been a contender for the White House. The St. Louis Dispatch reported he even reserved the website EricGreitensForPresident.com.

Lt. Gov. Mike Parson will take over as governor.

Parson released a statement saying, "This is a decision that will allow our state to heal and move forward from what has been a difficult time."

The statement also touched on his future as governor. The statement said, "This is an enormous responsibility serving as our state's next governor, and I am ready to fulfill the duties of the office with honor and integrity and with a steadfast commitment to making our great state even greater for the people we are entrusted to serve."

He is a third-generation farmer with a cow and calf operation near Bolivar. He’s a former sheriff, state senator and state representative. He was in the Army for six years. His wife is Teresa Parson. They have two grown children and five grandchildren.

According to his online state bio, he won 110 of 114 Missouri counties, making him the most popular lieutenant governor in Missouri history.

Beatty said Tuesday she is looking forward to working with him.

"Gov. Mike Parson possesses the integrity his predecessor lacked, and House Democrats will offer him whatever assistance we can as he begins the difficult task of restoring credibility to state government,” she said.

Hawley said, "I wish incoming Governor Mike Parson well, and stand ready to assist him in his transition."

(Editor’s note: Maggie Madro and Jacob Cavaiani contributed to this report.)


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UPDATED: Court says pro-Greitens' group must comply with subpoena https://www.komu.com/news/updated-court-says-pro-greitens-group-must-comply-with-subpoena/ https://www.komu.com/news/updated-court-says-pro-greitens-group-must-comply-with-subpoena/ Greitens Tue, 29 May 2018 11:03:30 AM The Associated Press UPDATED: Court says pro-Greitens' group must comply with subpoena

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A secretive group supporting Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens must turn over documents subpoenaed by a legislative committee trying to determine whether to bring impeachment proceedings against the Republican governor, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem ordered the pro-Greitens group A New Missouri to immediately begin turning over documents and to finish doing so by Friday. The order also applies to documents sought from Greitens' campaign committee related to A New Missouri.

A special Missouri House committee has been investigating a variety of allegations against Greitens, including sexual misconduct and misuse of a charity donor list for his political campaign. The subpoenas related to A New Missouri focus on alleged efforts to conceal donations used to benefit Greitens.

On Tuesday, the committee heard testimony from Republican consultant Michael Hafner. He said he provided political advice and helped organize meetings for Greitens with potential donors and campaign vendors in 2014 and early 2015, before Greitens officially created his political committee on Feb. 24, 2015.

State law requirees candidates to form political committees when they either raise or spend more than $500.

Hafner testified that he recommended in December 2014 that Greitens set up a political committee to handle fundraising and expenses for his upcoming campaign. But Greitens didn't immediately do so.

Instead, Hafner said, he was paid in excess of $500 by The Greitens Group, which was Greitens' personal promotional company, for political work he did in January 2015. He was paid by Greitens' campaign after the exploratory committee was officially created.

Among other things, Hafner testified that he spoke to potential Greitens' donors about funneling money through nonprofits to keep donations concealed.

"There were specific donors I reached out to, who Eric connected me with, and we discussed specifically nonprofits and (501c4s) and what the process would be," said Hafner, who left Greitens campaign later in 2015.

Greitens won election in November 2016 and took office in January 2017.

Shortly afterward, Greitens' campaign aides helped create A New Missouri, a 501c4 social welfare nonprofit that doesn't have to disclose the identities of its donors. Such committees cannot intervene in campaigns on behalf of candidates but can engage in political activities so long as that's not their primary purpose.

A New Missouri has spent money on behalf of Greitens and his policy goals, including making contributions to other groups supporting a right-to-work law Greitens signed that limited union powers.

Beetem ordered compliance with subpoena requests for any communications and documents showing potential coordination between Greitens, his campaign committee and A New Missouri; and communications and expenditures by A New Missouri related to media advertising.

The judge said the identities of any donors to A New Missouri could be redacted from the documents.

Missouri House attorney Mark Kempton has said the legislative subpoenas are trying to "get to the bottom of whether or not there have been any campaign contribution violations."

Catherine Hanaway, an attorney for both for Greitens' campaign and A New Missouri, had argued that the subpoena requests were beyond the scope of the committee's investigation.

Hanaway did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the judge's ruling.


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Greitens' lawyers want to publicly question witnesses https://www.komu.com/news/greitens-lawyers-want-to-publicly-question-witnesses/ https://www.komu.com/news/greitens-lawyers-want-to-publicly-question-witnesses/ Greitens Wed, 16 May 2018 1:21:59 PM The Associated Press Greitens' lawyers want to publicly question witnesses

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Attorneys for Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens want to be able to publicly question a woman with whom he had an affair, as well as any other witnesses whose testimony could be used to try to impeach him.

Lawyers representing Greitens' office engaged in a sometimes tense and confrontational discussion Wednesday with members of a special House committee that has been investigating allegations against Greitens.

The attorneys want the House to establish rules allowing them to call and cross-examine witnesses during a special legislative session that is to begin Friday.

House committee members said they, too, want a public hearing process that gets to the truth. They want Greitens to testify, which he so far has not done.

Until now, the committee has taken witness testimony in secret.


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House committee seeking documents from Greitens, campaign organizations https://www.komu.com/news/house-committee-seeking-documents-from-greitens-campaign-organizations/ https://www.komu.com/news/house-committee-seeking-documents-from-greitens-campaign-organizations/ Greitens Thu, 17 May 2018 2:07:59 PM Steve Lambson, KOMU 8 News Content Manager House committee seeking documents from Greitens, campaign organizations

JEFFERSON CITY - The House committee investigating alleged misconduct by Gov. Eric Greitens filed a new lawsuit in Cole County on Thursday, seeking documents from A New Missouri, Inc. and Greitens for Missouri.

The two organizations were formed by Greitens and his campaign advisors during his gubernatorial campaign.

In the petition, the House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight said it has "uncovered documentary evidence in the form of a confidential memorandum" that indicates "Greitens engaged in a scheme to conceal donors by channeling contributions through shell LLCs."

It also said members heard testimony from paid campaign personnel in charge of fundraising for Greitens for Missouri. The committee said it learned about "conversations with donors who intended to raise significant amounts of money and conceal the donors, conceal the identity of donors," as well as efforts by the Greitens For Missouri campaign to carry out "a strategy to conceal donors."

The reason for the document request, the committee said, is to determine "whether Eric R. Greitens has been involved in utilizing other organizations such as Greitens For Missouri and A New Missouri, Inc. to circumvent Missouri’s campaign finance disclosure laws."

The committee issued subpoenas to both organizations, but said neither has produced the documents requested.

The committee has already been looking into alleged campaign finance misconduct involving a charity Greitens founded, The Mission Continues. He's accused of using a donor list from the charity without permission to raise money. He's facing a felony charge of computer tampering in that case.

The House committee was initially formed in March to look into other accusations against Greitens. He is accused of blackmailing a woman he had a relationship with. The criminal invasion of privacy charges in that case were dropped this week, but prosecutors say they plan to re-file.


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Prosecutor: Greitens' lawyers threatened to 'ruin' her https://www.komu.com/news/prosecutor-greitens-lawyers-threatened-to-ruin-her/ https://www.komu.com/news/prosecutor-greitens-lawyers-threatened-to-ruin-her/ Greitens Thu, 17 May 2018 8:33:55 PM The Associated Press Prosecutor: Greitens' lawyers threatened to 'ruin' her

ST. LOUIS (AP) - St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner says lawyers for Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens twice threatened to "ruin" her if she didn't back off investigations of the governor.

Gardner spoke to The Associated Press this week after her office dismissed an invasion of privacy case stemming from Greitens' 2015 affair with his St. Louis hairdresser. She says a decision will be made by June 1 on whether to refile the charge.

Gardner says Greitens attorneys told her in a March meeting that she would be ruined personally and professionally if she moved forward with the case. She says they made a similar threat in April as she contemplated a second charge alleging Greitens illegally used a charity donor list for his gubernatorial campaign.

Defense attorney Jack Garvey says Gardner's allegations are false.


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Greitens won't be charged for finance report on donor list https://www.komu.com/news/greitens-won-t-be-charged-for-finance-report-on-donor-list/ https://www.komu.com/news/greitens-won-t-be-charged-for-finance-report-on-donor-list/ Greitens Fri, 18 May 2018 1:23:39 PM The Associated Press Greitens won't be charged for finance report on donor list

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri prosecutor said Friday that he won't be filing any charges against Gov. Eric Greitens for the way his campaign reported the receipt of a charity donor list used for political fundraising.

The decision by Cole County Prosecutor Mark Richardson marked a victory for Greitens on the same day that the Republican-controlled Missouri Legislature was to open a monthlong special session to decide whether to try to impeach the Republican governor for various allegations of misconduct.

Richardson issued a brief statement saying he had been provided information from Attorney General Josh Hawley's investigation into Greitens' campaign.

"After due consideration, I have decided not to file the criminal charge suggested" by the attorney general's office, Richardson said. He didn't explain why not and declined to comment further.

Hawley's office said it shared evidence in April supporting a potential misdemeanor charge of filing a false campaign finance report.

"Prosecuting Attorneys have the discretion whether to pursue criminal charges, but this Office stands by its determination that the information provided supports a determination of probable cause," Hawley spokeswoman Mary Compton said in a written statement.

Later Friday, Hawley asserted that Greitens' lacked the legal authority to hire private attorneys to represent the governor's office on impeachment proceedings, which Greitens' office disputed.

Greitens' campaign attorney Catherine Hanaway said Richardson's decision was gratifying.

"From the beginning, our position has been the governor and his campaign wouldn't and didn't do anything to hurt the charity he founded," Hanaway said.

Greitens already faces a felony charge in St. Louis of tampering with computer data for allegedly disclosing a donor list of The Mission Continues to his political fundraiser in 2015 without the permission of the veterans' charity he founded. That charge came after Hawley shared information with the St. Louis circuit attorney's office. No trial date has been set yet.

Richardson had jurisdiction to decide whether an additional charge should have been filed related to an amended campaign finance report that Greitens' campaign filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission in April 2017.

That report, which was the result of an ethics complaint settlement, listed the charity donor list as an in-kind contribution valued at $600 provided on March 1, 2015 by Danny Laub, who was functioning as Greitens' campaign manager.

But Laub testified to the attorney general this year that he wasn't the source of the donor list.

Records released this month by a special House investigatory committee show that Greitens himself received the donor list of The Mission Continues in 2014 so he could call key supporters and explain that he was stepping down as CEO.

The legislative report indicated that Greitens later directed political aides to work off the charity's list to raise money for his gubernatorial campaign — even though he had signed an agreement never to disclose the charity's confidential donor information.

Greitens' attorneys have contended he was entitled to use the list because it contained contact information for people he had cultivated as donors to the charity. But The Mission Continues says it never gave Greitens permission to use the list for political purposes, and federal law bars 501(c)(3) charities such as The Mission Continues from intervening in political campaigns on behalf of candidates.

The Associated Press first reported in October 2016 that Greitens' campaign had obtained a list of individuals, corporations and other nonprofits that had given at least $1,000 to The Mission Continues. The AP reported that Greitens raised about $2 million from those who had previously given significant amounts to the charity.

At the time, Greitens denied working off the donor list but acknowledged soliciting campaign money from some of people he had gotten to know while working at the charity.

The charity donor list will be part of the focus of the special legislative session scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday to determine whether to try to impeach Greitens.

Lawmakers also will be considering allegations of sexual misconduct during what Greitens has described as a consensual affair in 2015. The St. Louis prosecutor on Tuesday dropped a felony invasion-of-privacy charge alleging Greitens had taken and transmitted a nonconsensual photo of the woman involved in the affair while she was at least partially nude.

The Missouri Constitution says executive officeholders can be impeached for crimes, misconduct and "moral turpitude," among other things. It does not require a conviction in a criminal court.

Greitens so far has declined to appear before a special House investigatory committee that's been taking testimony about allegations against him since March. He hasn't said whether will testify during the special session.

Greitens has hired attorneys Ross Garber and Eddie Greim to represent his office in the potential impeachment proceedings. Garber is to be paid $320 an hour and Greim's law firm $340 an hour from taxpayer funds.

But Hawley said Friday that the governor's office lacks the legal authority to hire private attorneys without the consent of the attorney general's office. Hawley said Greitens' office hadn't sought permission.

Greitens spokesman Parker Briden said it's a long-established fact that governors can hire attorneys to represent them in an official capacity.


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Hawley questions Greitens use of private attorneys in impeachment proceedings https://www.komu.com/news/hawley-questions-greitens-use-of-private-attorneys-in-impeachment-proceedings/ https://www.komu.com/news/hawley-questions-greitens-use-of-private-attorneys-in-impeachment-proceedings/ Greitens Fri, 18 May 2018 8:34:35 PM Annie Hammock, KOMU 8 Interactive Director Hawley questions Greitens use of private attorneys in impeachment proceedings

COLUMBIA - Attorney General Josh Hawley says attorneys helping Gov. Eric Greitens through impeachment proceedings are acting improperly.

"By all appearances, the private impeachment counsel seem focused on advancing the individual interests of Governor Greitens rather than the institutional interests of the Office of the Governor," Hawley said.

He is asking state Auditor Nicole Galloway to look into it. Hawley said Greitens' office lacks the authority to retain private counsel to participate in any adversarial activities without the attorney general's consent.

"My office was never consulted regarding the retention of those attorneys and has never consented to their hiring," he said.

Greitens' office responded with a statement saying Hawley "has basic facts wrong."

Spokesman Parker Briden said, "Counsel for the Office have entered an appearance with the committee on behalf of the Office, not the Governor personally. They have attended meetings with legislative branch officials on behalf of the Office, and they have interacted with counsel for the legislative branch by responding to informal and formal requests for documents on behalf of the Office, not the Governor personally."

All this comes as a special legislative session began Friday to determine possible disciplinary action against Greitens, who is accused of blackmail and campaign finance wrong-doing.

The governor is also dealing with two criminal cases. He is facing charges of computer tampering related to the misuse of a charity donor list. Invasion of privacy charges in the blackmail case were dropped this week, but prosecutors say they'll re-file.

Dear Auditor Galloway:

 

It has been widely reported that the Office of the Governor has retained- at taxpayer expense- at least two private attorneys to defend Governor Greitens in potential upcoming impeachment proceedings. Public statements made by those attorneys seem to indicate that they represent the Office of the Governor rather than Governor Greitens individually. My Office was never consulted regarding the retention of those attorneys and has never consented to their hiring. 1 understand that your Office is currently reviewing various issues relating to the retention of those attorneys. I write to advise you that, absent express statutory authorization, the Office of the Governor lacks authority to retain private counsel to participate in connection with any adversarial proceeding without the Attorney General's consent.

 

The Missouri Constitution "vests the office [of Attorney General] with all of the powers of the attorney general at common law." State ex rel. Nixon v. Am. Tobacco Co., 34 S.W.3d 122, 136 (Mo. bane 2000). The Attorney General may exercise all common-law powers of the attorney general except when "restricted by a statute enacted specifically for the purpose of limiting his power." Id. At common law, "[t]he Attorney General was the law officer  of the Crown, and its only legal representative in the courts." Darling Apartment Co. v. Springer, 22 A.2d  397, 403  (Del. 194I). As a result, a state attorney general with common-law constitutional authority is "clothed not only with the power but also the duty to represent the State and its several departments in all litigation where the public interests are concerned, and to advise the Executive and other State officers and agencies when called on by them for legal advice in their official capacities."  Id. Missouri statutes reinforce this broad conception of the Attorney General's authority, contemplating that he or she will control litigation on behalf of state entities and officers. See,  e.g., §§ 27.050, 27.060, RSMo. Under Missouri law, "[i]t is for the attorney general to decide where and how to litigate issues involving public rights and duties and to prevent injury to the public welfare." State ex rel. Igoe v. Bradford, 611 S.W.2d 343, 347 (Mo. App. W.D. 1980).

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Thus, it is clear that the Missouri Constitution designates the Attorney General as the presumptive legal counsel of state Exec utive entities and officers- including the Office of the Governor- in connection with adversarial proceedings,  absent an express statutory  provision to the contrary. Am. Tobacco, 34 S. W.3d at 136.1 The General Assembly has expressly authorized certain state entities and officials to retain separate counsel under various circumstances. For example, the General Assembly has authorized the Department of Conservation and the Department of Transportation to retain separate counsel in cases covered by the Legal Expense Fund. § 105.716.1, RSMo. Similarly, the General Assembly has expressly authorized the Public Service Commission to retain separate counsel to represent the Commission in litigationand other adversarial proceedings. § 386.07 1, RSMo.

 

Here, the private impeachment counsel are purporting to act as attorneys for the Office of the Governor, and we understand that their legal fees are to be paid from taxpayer funds. No authority exists for the Office of the Governor to retain those attorneys. The General  Assembly has not enactedany statutory authorization for the Office of the Governor to retain private counsel at taxpayer expense to participate in impeachment proceedings. See, e.g.,Chapter 26, RSMo. And the Attorney General has not consented to the retention of those attorneys. Thus, under Missouri law, the Office of the Governor lacks authority to retain private impeachment counsel, and those attorneys lack authority under Missouri law to act on behalf of the Office of the Governor.

 

The importance of these  principles is particularly clear in this case. By all appearances, the private impeachment counsel seem focused on advancing the individual interests of Governor Greitens rather than the institutional interests of the Office of the Governor. The impeachment  and removal of a governor does not impinge on the power of the Office of the Governor but instead affects the identity of the individual who wields that power. It appears that the private counsel retained by the Office of the Governor are simply advancing the private interests of the individual who happens to currently occupy that Office, rather than the constitutional interests of the Office itself. Under Missouri law, the duly elected Attorney General- not private attorneys retained without the authorization of the General Assembly or the Attorney General- has the duty and authority to safeguard the institutional interests of the Office of the Governor. See Igoe, 611 S.W.2d at 347.

 

In light of these considerations, I ask that your ongoing review consider that the Office of the Governor lacks authority to retain private impeachment counsel and that those private attorneys who purport to represent the Office of Governor at taxpayer expense are acting without authority

In response to accusations from Attorney General Hawley, please see the following statement attributable to Parker Briden, spokesman for Governor Greitens:

 

It is long established that the Governor’s office has the ability to hire counsel to represent the Governor in his official capacity. In fact, former Governor Jay Nixon previously hired private attorneys to represent him and his office. Missouri law specifically provides for statutory authority for the Governor to hire counsel (RSMo. 26.020 provides that “the governor may employ and fix the compensation of such legal…assistants as may be necessary for the efficient conduct of his office.”) This authority allowing state officers to enter into contracts for legal services has been reinforced by the Supreme Court of Missouri in Aetna Ins. Co. v. O’Malley, 343 1232 (1938). 

 

The Attorney General is well aware that a possible impeachment implicates the institution of the office of the Governor and not just the individual. An effort by one branch of government to sit in judgment on another implicates the core of the executive branch of government. Presidents (including President Trump) and multitudes of governor’s offices, from New Jersey, Virginia, Alabama, Connecticut, South Carolina, and many others, have engaged outside counsel to assist in investigations that affect governors. The Governor’s office has the authority to hire counsel to represent the office to defend its interests in any purported impeachment.

 

As to the argument that the Governor’s Office counsel are “advancing private interests,” the Attorney General has basic facts wrong. Counsel for the Office have entered an appearance with the committee on behalf of the Office, not the Governor personally. They have attended meetings with legislative branch officials on behalf of the Office, and they have interacted with counsel for the legislative branch by responding to informal and formal requests for documents on behalf of the Office, not the Governor personally. The arguments for due process advanced by the Governor’s counsel will affect the dignity of the office for generations to come, regardless of the individual who holds the office.

 

Just days after the House hired two outside lawyers to represent the committee, the Governor’s adversaries would no doubt like to deprive the Governor’s office of counsel.


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House committee to begin hearing on possible Greitens impeachment https://www.komu.com/news/house-committee-to-begin-hearing-on-possible-greitens-impeachment/ https://www.komu.com/news/house-committee-to-begin-hearing-on-possible-greitens-impeachment/ Greitens Mon, 21 May 2018 2:04:17 PM Johannah Grenaway, KOMU 8 Reporter House committee to begin hearing on possible Greitens impeachment

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri has never impeached a governor, but that could change in 2018. Tuesday, the House of Representatives will decide whether to move forward with the impeachment process regarding Gov. Eric Greitens.

Pervill Squire is a political science professor at the University of Missouri. He said Missouri has a different procedure than most other states when it comes to impeaching a governor.

"Most other states would have the Senate sit as a judge and jury. In Missouri, for the gubernatorial impeachment, the Senate will select seven sitting jurists, seven sitting judges, and those judges will make the decision. We don't have any experience with that process so nobody really knows exactly how it's likely to unfold."

Squire said he thinks the House will want to move forward. 

"Certainly the House committee has spent a good deal of time investigating this and they're quite comfortable with the position they're in right now."

Squire noted the significance of a majority republican House of Representatives and Senate. He said this suggests the issue of impeachment is not a partisan matter, but a question of whether the governor has violated the norms of being an elected official.

"We always like to think of ourselves as a nation of laws and that we hold elected officials to the same standards that we would others," Squire said. "So the governor's actions, if the House determines that he's done the sorts of things the House committee suggests he has, then they have to decide whether somebody, who has transgressed in the way he has, still has the authority or the right to operate as governor."


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Special Prosecutor chosen in Greitens case, circuit attorney gets recused https://www.komu.com/news/special-prosecutor-chosen-in-greitens-case-circuit-attorney-gets-recused/ https://www.komu.com/news/special-prosecutor-chosen-in-greitens-case-circuit-attorney-gets-recused/ Greitens Mon, 21 May 2018 5:00:47 PM Annie Hammock, KOMU 8 Interactive Director Special Prosecutor chosen in Greitens case, circuit attorney gets recused

ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office announced late Monday that a special prosecutor has been selected in Gov. Eric Greitens' invasion of privacy case.

Jean Peters Baker, the prosecuting attorney of Jackson County, agreed to the job, according to the CAO.

Kim Gardner, who had been prosecuting the charge, said Baker has proven she is "unafraid of tackling difficult cases."

Baker will be the one to decide whether to refile the invasion of privacy charges that were dropped suddenly last week, not long after the Greitens defense team got approval to call Gardner as a witness.

Jackson released a statement saying no elected official relishes investigating another official, but her office will be thorough in its review and its decisions made "without fear of favor."

Earlier Monday, Judge Rex Burlison granted Gardner's request to recuse herself from the invasion of privacy investigation.

At the same time, Burlison denied Greitens' request for a temporary stay of "certain grand jury proceedings," according to court documents published by KMOV.

Those documents show Burlison said he made the decisions "based on representations by the Circuit Attorney's Office that the evidence will be reviewed by a party independent of the CAO."

Prosecutors suddenly dropped the invasion of privacy charge last week, not long after Greitens' defense team said they would make Gardner a witness. The Circuit Attorney's Office said it would be seeking a special prosecutor.

Burlison said "once a special prosecutor is selected, the Circuit Attorney and the CAO are prohibited from any further involvement," according to the court documents published by KMOV.

The charge against Greitens stems from an accusation of blackmail from a woman he once had a relationship with. That woman said Greitens took a non-consensual picture of her partially nude and then threatened to use it against her if she went public.

Gardner said Monday she continues to believe in the credibility of the witness and that there is "ample cause" to re-issue the charge.


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Missouri lawmakers read woman's testimony against Greitens https://www.komu.com/news/missouri-lawmakers-read-woman-s-testimony-against-greitens/ https://www.komu.com/news/missouri-lawmakers-read-woman-s-testimony-against-greitens/ Greitens Tue, 22 May 2018 4:35:14 PM The Associated Press, Evan Dodson, KOMU 8 Reporter & Monica Madden, KOMU 8 Reporter Missouri lawmakers read woman's testimony against Greitens

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Like actors rehearsing a script, Missouri lawmakers on Tuesday publicly read aloud the previously secret criminal case transcripts of a woman who accused Gov. Eric Greitens of sexual misconduct and asserted that his attorney suggested she should deny it.

The unusual scene played out in a Capitol committee room, livestreamed for the public, as a special Missouri House investigatory panel gathers evidence for an eventual decision on whether to try to impeach the Republican governor in an attempt to remove him from office.

The committee took breaks every 100 pages and ended the session after nearly eight hours.

The bipartisan panel endorsed rules Tuesday that would prohibit Greitens' attorneys from cross-examining witnesses, as they have asserted is essential for a fair process. Those rules would still need approval from the full House.

By reading transcripts of the woman's lengthy depositions taken by Greitens' criminal defense attorneys, lawmakers essentially were working around their concerns by including their previous cross-examination of the woman in the mountain of evidence they will consider.

One of Gov. Greitens’ attorneys, Ross Garber, said he’s hoping for a truthful process.

“I think all the office of the governor is looking for is a process that gets to the truth, and does it in a reliable and open way,” Garber said.

The transcripts were provided in response to a legislative subpoena after St. Louis prosecutors dropped a felony invasion-of-privacy charge last week alleging Greitens had taken and transmitted a nonconsensual photo of the nude woman in the basement of his home in March 2015. It will be up to a newly appointed special prosecutor to decide whether to refile that charge or to bring other charges against Greitens stemming from the extramarital affair that ended more than a year before his November 2016 election.

Greitens has said the affair was consensual and denied that he acted violently toward the woman or broke the law. He has not directly answered questions about whether he bound the woman's hands, blindfolded her, removed her clothes and took a picture as she has alleged.

Lawmakers read aloud the transcripts of the woman's two grand jury sessions from Feb. 18 and Feb. 22, the day Greitens was indicted. The committee decided to not read the explicit language during the hearing. Her account of events tracked closely with her eventual March testimony to the House committee, which already has been made public, but it contained at least one apparently additional element.

The woman, identified as only as K.S., told grand jurors that an attorney for Greitens had called her attorney in January, shortly after news of the affair broke, and asked what she wanted out of it. When her attorney said she didn't want to be part of this, the woman testified that Greitens' lawyer responded, "Well, I know a way that she could do that. She could come out and say that none of this is true."

Greitens' attorney, Ed Dowd, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the testimony was "double hearsay."

"We never gave her any suggestion of what she should say," Dowd told the AP.

Lawmakers later began reading the previously secret transcript of the woman's April 6 deposition taken by Greitens' attorneys. The lawyers began that interview by trying to portray the woman as a liar — a label she rejected while acknowledging that she for a while had not been truthful with her husband and had lied to Greitens by telling him she hadn't told her husband about the affair.

In her grand jury testimony, the woman said she was afraid of Greitens' reaction if he found out she had told her husband. She said Greitens is "kind of an aggressive guy."

Lawmakers took turns reading the parts of the woman, prosecutors and defense attorneys, often speaking with inflection as though they were characters in a theatrical play.

Greitens' attorneys said that simply reading the transcripts wouldn't satisfy their desire for a public cross-examination. They noted that rules for impeachment procedures in several other states did allow cross-examination of witnesses, though Missouri lawmakers also barred it during their last impeachment of Secretary of State Judi Moriarty in 1994.

"All the office of the governor is looking for is a process that gets to the truth and does it in a reliable and open way," said attorney Ross Garber, who his representing Greitens' office. By not allowing cross-examination, he said, "the public will not have confidence in either the process or the results."

By contrast, some lawmakers raised concerns that allowing the governor's lawyers to call and question witnesses during legislative proceedings would infringe on the state constitution's separation of powers.

Phillips said Greitens' lawyers "already had ample time to basically cross-examine everybody" during the criminal case proceedings.

"So I don't think the cross-examination would be much more than probably just an attempt to almost filibuster our committee, for lack of another way to put it," said Phillips, the panel's vice chairman.

In addition to sexual misconduct allegations, Greitens faces accusations that he misused a donor list from The Mission Continues to raise money for his gubernatorial campaign without the permission of the St. Louis-based veterans' charity he founded.

During a brief court hearing Tuesday, a judge scheduled Greitens' next court appearance for July 2 on a felony charge of tampering with computer data for allegedly disclosing the donor list to his political fundraiser in 2015. A Greitens' attorney said the delay could allow time for a grand jury to issue an indictment superseding the original charge, which is standard procedure.

The committee’s Vice-Chairman Rep. Don Phillips, R-Kimberling City, said the committee plans to read through testimony throughout the week. Chairman Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, said the committee will meet through Friday, and Saturday if necessary.


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The Latest: Judge weighs subpoena of pro-Greitens group https://www.komu.com/news/the-latest-judge-weighs-subpoena-of-pro-greitens-group/ https://www.komu.com/news/the-latest-judge-weighs-subpoena-of-pro-greitens-group/ Greitens Wed, 23 May 2018 1:08:05 PM The Associated Press The Latest: Judge weighs subpoena of pro-Greitens group

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - A Missouri judge is weighing whether a secretive nonprofit group that supports Gov. Eric Greitens' agenda should have to comply with a subpoena from lawmakers.

Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem heard arguments Wednesday as a special Missouri House committee continued its investigation into the Republican governor.

Attorney Catherine Hanaway argued that the subpoena for information about the group called A New Missouri is outside the scope of the House investigation because it is a separate entity from Greitens.

Attorney Mark Kempton is representing the Missouri House. He says lawmakers want to get to the bottom of whether there have been any campaign contribution violations involving Greitens' campaign and A New Missouri.

A New Missouri is a social welfare nonprofit that doesn't have to disclose donors. It has run ads supporting Greitens and his policy goals.


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Testimony at Greitens hearing centers on recording, $100,000 cash payment https://www.komu.com/news/testimony-at-greitens-hearing-centers-on-recording-100-000-cash-payment/ https://www.komu.com/news/testimony-at-greitens-hearing-centers-on-recording-100-000-cash-payment/ Greitens Thu, 24 May 2018 11:31:49 AM Evan Dodson, KOMU 8 Reporter Testimony at Greitens hearing centers on recording, $100,000 cash payment

JEFFERSON CITY - In sometimes heated testimony, members of a Special House Investigative Committee looking into the Eric Greitens scandals heard about $120,000 in cash payments related to the release of the recording at the center of the blackmail allegations.

Attorney Al Watkins represents the ex-husband of the woman Greitens said he had an affair with in 2015, before his election. The ex-husband secretly recorded a conversation with his then-wife, during which she described a sexual encounter with Greitens.

Watkins said, in addition to giving the FBI the recording last year, he provided the FBI photos of cash he received in January of this year from The Missouri Times publisher Scott Faughn related to the audio recording.

Watkins says Faughn paid him $100,000 and told him the money came from a wealthy out-of-state Republican.

“I wanted to make sure it wasn’t dirty money, drug money, something that would give rise to problems,” Watkins said.

In his own testimony Wednesday, Faughn declined to say where he got the money.

Watkins told the committee the money was given to him in two payments of $50,000 - both of which came in all cash. One payment was made Jan. 8 and the other Jan. 9, according to Watkins.

He said he was also given an additional $20,000 from Faughn. Watkins said half was used for legal expenses, and the remaining $10,000 to “get his family out of town.”

Watkins said when he received the money from Faughn, he assumed it came from an anonymous donor. However, for accounting reasons, he said he recorded that Faughn had just given him the money.

He said Faughn gave him the money to release the recordings of the woman who accused Greitens of sexual misconduct and her ex-husband. Watkins said the recordings “were not part of a crime.”

“The tape, in my opinion was of zero value,” Watkins said. “It was of a very hurt woman, in a heart wrenching confession to her husband.”

The testimony was marked by a few testy exchanges.

While responding to a question from Rep. J. Eggleston, R-Maysville, Watkins said, “If you wanna hear my answer, you gotta shut up.”

Rep. Greg Razer, D-Kansas City, chastised Watkins, saying, “You’re not just telling Mr. Eggleston to shut up, you’re telling the 36,000 people that sent him here to shut up.”

Watkins apologized to the committee later, and said he was sorry he was being rude.

Watkins expressed his distaste of the governor several times throughout the testimony. Before leaving, he said he wouldn’t leave his wife or daughter alone in the same room with Greitens.


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Greitens investigation continues with more subpoenas, new documents https://www.komu.com/news/greitens-investigation-continues-with-more-subpoenas-new-documents/ https://www.komu.com/news/greitens-investigation-continues-with-more-subpoenas-new-documents/ Greitens Fri, 25 May 2018 3:15:03 PM Shelby Lofton, KOMU 8 Reporter Greitens investigation continues with more subpoenas, new documents

JEFFERSON CITY - In another day of political theater, the special House committee investigating Governor Eric Greitens heard new testimony from a forensic examiner Friday. Committee members questioned forensic investigator Brian Koberna about the three phones he studied belonging to Greitens, the woman he had a relationship with and her ex-husband.

Koberna called the three images he recovered “benign in nature.” He said there was nothing that could prove they were taken on March 21, 2015, the day Greitens allegedly bound and photographed the woman who is accusing him of sexual misconduct.

Koberna assured the committee that he had no relation to Greitens, his defense counsel or any major players involved with the allegations made against the governor.

“It is refreshing to see someone sitting in that chair that doesn’t have some possible ulterior motive, sitting next to a lawyer who's trying to obstruct us from finding the truth,” Rep. J. Eggleston (R-Maysville) said, in reference to Albert Watkins and Chuck Hatfield, attorneys representing parties in the case.

Eggleston and Rep. Jay Barnes, (R-Jefferson City) provided Koberna with four phone numbers to verify if they matched the numbers associated with the phones he analyzed. Three of them did not match the phones examined and one of them matched the number Koberna associated with Greitens, though not the phone he examined. Koberna said it was possible a phone could use more than one number. 

Koberna said there was no evidence of apps on the phones that could delete any trails to pictures. He did say that there was evidence of Confide, an instant messaging system designed to delete messages as soon as they’re read, and prevents users from taking screenshots.

When questioned about the possibility of the governor hiding data on his phone, Koberna said he could not guarantee that did or did not happen.

“Anything’s doable. I would be hesitant to say somebody can’t accomplish manipulating data or something like that,” he said.

Halfway through the testimony, Rep. Curtis Trent (R-Springfield) produced a new document and requested to hand it out to the committee. Some committee members objected to introducing the document, saying they would not allow “cherry-picked evidence” 88 days into the investigation.

Attorney Michelle Nassar was present to represent the governor. She requested a private meeting with the committee chair when the document was introduced.

“I’m not here to answer questions,” Nassar said.

After a lengthy and tense back and forth between Nassar and Barnes, the committee subpoenaed the governor to testify before the committee on June 4 and Witness 1, the woman he had an affair with, on June 5.

Koberna will return to testify Tuesday at 10 a.m.


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