House committee releases Greitens report; governor calls report a ‘witch hunt’
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A special Missouri House committee investigating an invasion of privacy charge against Missouri Governor Eric Greitens released its findings Wednesday afternoon.
The House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight met behind closed doors Tuesday at the capitol, then met again Wednesday in closed session before the report was released. Democrats caucused in a basement meeting room, while Republicans met elsewhere.
The much-anticipated report was public at 5 p.m. State representatives must now decide whether to impeach the governor.
The committee began its investigation after the governor was indicted in February. Greitens is accused of taking a nude photo of a woman with whom he was having an affair in 2015, without that woman’s consent.
The woman, identified as Gov. Greitens’ former hairdresser, testified that the governor was physically aggressive toward her on more than one occasion over the course of the affair.
She said Greitens spanked, slapped, and shoved her in separate get-togethers.
After reviewing the report, House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty (D-Kansas City) said the governor must resign.
“For the good of the state, Eric Greitens must immediately resign. If he doesn’t, it will be the duty of the House of Representatives to restore integrity to the executive branch of state government,” Beatty said. “This duty must be conducted with careful deliberation following a thorough review of the evidence gathered to date. Once House members have had the opportunity to digest the special committee’s report and accompanying documentation, it is our hope that leadership in both parties can agree on the appropriate next step.”
Lt. Governor Mike Parson released a statement Wednesday calling for unity and correcting the state’s lingering problems.
“With the recent events that have distracted our great state, I want to say with all sincerity that it is time to unite and put aside our differences. Over the course of several months, it has been a trying time for many people. My heart goes out to the families involved. However, all Missourians must continue to stay focused on the task at hand – moving Missouri forward. We owe it to ourselves and generations to come.”
Gov. Greitens held a news conference prior to the release of the report. He called the report an outlandish “political witch hunt” and said people had turned his personal mistake into a spectacle. The governor said no standards of evidence were used in the committee investigation and that said investigation was conducted in secret, adding that no member of his defense team was allowed to see any evidence presented.
Greitens said he expects the report to be filled with more falsehoods.
The governor said he will continue to serve in office and believes he’ll be vindicated in a court of law.
You can read the 24-page report below in its entirety. (Please be advised, some of the content is graphic in nature and might not be suitable for younger audiences.)