ST. LOUIS, MO — The St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office said they conducted a two hour videotaped interview with the Missouri Governor's former mistress. Greitens' lawyers were told the interview was lost because the video machine didn't work. It turns out the video exists. The defense and the judge, in this case, appear to be irate.
The video was presented to the court at 6pm Wednesday. That happens to be one hour after the Missouri Special Investigative Committee on Oversight released a sordid report on the governor. Many lawmakers are calling for the Governor to resign after the report's release.
The Circuit attorney's office has had the evidence since Monday. Greitens' team is now accusing the prosecution of withholding evidence and lying. The prosecution says they didn't turn the video over because the audio goes silent for a moment. The Governor's lawyers want the case dismissed because the Circuit Attorney's Office misled the court about the video's existence.
A private investigator for Kim Gardner's office hired for this case said he did not take notes. The defense showed a picture of the investigator in court, sitting next to Gardner, taking notes. She did not disclose that information.
Asst prosecutor Robert Steele’s answer to allegations of withholding evidence in the Gov Eric Greiten’s case is that “it would change nothing.” The Judge seemed incredulous saying, “it seems to me, your argument is the State decides what is or is not exculpatory.”
The defense asked for sanctions and that the case be dismissed for “gross misconduct.” They say the evidence, which was withheld until an hour after the house investigative report was released Wednesday, shows inconsistencies in the former mistress’ statements and that the affair was consensual.
A Governor Greitens related hearing wrapped up Thursday afternoon. The Judge said the former mistresses ex-husband can answer questions about a possible money trail. His lawyer Al Watkins had instructed him not to answer. The ex-husband will now have to say what he knows about possible payments and source of funds involving the affair story. It will happen in a third day of deposition, yet to be scheduled.
Greitens was indicted in February on a felony charge of invasion of privacy. He's accused of taking a non-consensual photo of a woman he was having an affair with back in 2015 then transmitting the nude or partially nude photo of the woman in a way that allowed computer access to it.
In court, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner revealed that her office does not have the picture in question, but they are trying to get it. The Governor's lawyers also say they have never seen the infamous photo evidence that led to the criminal case. Both the prosecution and defense should see all evidence presented in court.
"Here, there is no pic and you have a witness who said, 'I never saw a pic. I may have dreamed I saw a phone there. But, I don't know if it was a dream or reality," said Greitens' Attorney, Ed Dowd.
The judge ordered lawyers to stop talking about the criminal case earlier this week. The Circuit Attorney’s office says the order will help ensure a fair trial and cut down on what it alleges is the defense using the media to try its case. Eric Greitens lawyers said the Governor is now defenseless. They questioned how he can even answer legislators after they released an investigative report.
We are now about a month away from the criminal trial, with Missouri’s Governor facing a felony invasion of privacy charge. Greitens admitted an affair to Fox 2, but denied blackmail.
The Governor’s lawyers quoted from a deposition in court Tuesday in which his former mistress reportedly said she may have remembered seeing a phone in a dream. Prosecutors accused the defense of wasting the court’s time and cherry picking from a nine-hour deposition. Then the woman’s attorney said the same and argued to release the entire transcript so the public can learn all of the truth. That transcript was released Thursday.
The Judge ordered the parties to stop talking Wednesday and asked that he get a chance to review motions before they’re made public. He also said he’s going to tighten the rules on what’s filed publicly so that we don’t see anything that might not make it into the courtroom.
Media attorney Mark Sableman explained what this means to the public. He said, “Well they’re still going to get information because all the documents are still going to be filed publicly except for attachments. They’re just not going to get attorneys talking about the substance of discovery materials. The Judge thought that would be too much and that that would taint the jury pool.”
The defense asked the Judge if he could also tell legislators to keep quiet until the Governor gets his day in court. The Judge said he could only control this case but said that he assumes those legislators are considering what happened in court, before releasing a report.