Greitens’ defense team wants trial in two weeks

ST. LOUIS - The criminal trial against Missouri Governor Eric Greitens cannot begin soon enough for his defense team.

The Greitens’ lawyers not only want the trial to begin April 3, but they also want a judge to decide their client’s fate – not a jury.

“The governor is innocent. He has a total right to his day in court,” said Ed Dowd, Greitens’ attorney. “There are a lot of false allegations out there and we want to get in court to prove it.”

The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office originally requested a November trial date. The office said Monday it “will object to the request to waive the jury trial. CA Gardner believes the citizens of St. Louis should review the evidence and make a decision in this case. The CA will also object to moving the trial date to early April.”

Greitens faces a felony invasion of privacy charge for allegedly taking a nude picture of a woman during an affair. Greitens admitted the affair in an exclusive Fox 2 interview but said there was no blackmail.

Private investigator William Don Tisaby gave his deposition Monday during a closed meeting. We won’t immediately learn what Tisaby said, since it was not open to the public, but it was revealed in court that the Tisaby interviewed Greitens’ former lover. The defense questioned whether it received all of Tisaby’s notes from that interview. A circuit attorney’s office lawyer said everything was turned over.

Greitens’ defense team also questioned the prosecution’s hiring of a Harvard Law professor to consult on this case. The defense filed a motion to disqualify, saying it’s an illegal hire because that lawyer is also a high-profile defense attorney who cannot give all of his time to the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office.

The CAO responded, saying, “The CA properly appointed Ronald S. Sullivan as a Special Assistant Circuit Attorney under Missouri State Statute 56.445, as other Circuit Attorneys before her including Jennifer M. Joyce, Dee Joyce Hayes and George Peach.” An office spokesperson added, “The motion to disqualify Mr. Sullivan is frivolous and part of an ongoing attempt to harass the prosecution.”