Missouri lawmakers to continue Greitens review
ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Missouri lawmakers say they’re still moving forward with an investigation of Gov. Eric Greitens after a St. Louis prosecutor dropped a felony charge against him.
Republican House and Senate leaders in joint statements Monday said lawmakers’ work is separate from the dropped felony invasion-of-privacy charge against the Republican governor.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s office said it dismissed the charge Monday because Judge Rex Burlison granted a request by Greitens’ attorney to call the prosecutor as a witness. Prosecutors say they hope to refile the case.
House Speaker Todd Richardson, House Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr, and House Majority Floor Leader Rob Vescovo said in a statement they’re still waiting for a recommendation from a special House committee on whether to impeach Greitens.
The House leaders say the dropped case now means Greitens can testify before the House committee, which he so far has not done.
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is calling the decision to drop a criminal charge against him “a great victory that has been a long time coming.”
The St. Louis circuit attorney’s office abruptly dropped an invasion-of-privacy charge Monday against Greitens after the third day of jury selection for his trial.
Prosecutors cited a decision by the judge to allow Greitens’ attorneys to call Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner as a witness. Greitens’ attorneys have accused a private attorney hired by Gardner of committing perjury.
Greitens appeared outside the courthouse afterward and made a brief statement denouncing the “false charges” and apologizing “for the pain” that his actions cause.
Prosecutors said they will make a decision later on whether to seek a special prosecutor or appoint someone to continue pursuing the case.
Prosecutors have dropped an invasion-of-privacy charge against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens but say they hope to refile the case.
The surprise move came at the end of the third day of jury selection for the Republican governor’s trial.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s office said it dismissed the charge because Judge Rex Burlison granted a request by Greitens’ attorney to call the prosecutor as a witness.
Greitens’ attorneys have criticized Gardner’s handling of the case, particularly her hiring of private investigator William Tisaby, who Greitens’ lawyers have accused of perjury.
Greitens was accused of taking and transmitting a nonconsensual photo of an at least partially nude woman with whom he had an affair in 2015.
A Gardner spokeswoman says a decision will be made later on how to proceed.
Prosecutors have dropped an invasion-of-privacy charge against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, but say they plan to re-file the case with a special prosecutor.
Assistant St. Louis Circuit Attorney Ronald Sullivan made the surprise announcement Monday in court after the third day of jury selection in Greitens’ trial.
Sullivan cited the fact that Greitens’ defense attorneys planned to call the St. Louis circuit attorney, whose handling of the case has been under constant criticism by Greitens attorneys.
Greitens’ defense team has particularly focused on the prosecutor’s hiring of a private investigator, William Tisaby, whom Greitens’ lawyers have accused of perjury.
The Republican governor was accused of taking and transmitting a nonconsensual photo of an at least partially nude woman with whom he had an affair in 2015.
Jury selection has been moving slowly and methodically in the criminal trial of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.
More than half of the prospective jurors are being dismissed, either because of time constraints or potential biases. The selection process now is expected to go into Tuesday.
Legal experts say it’s not usual for jury selection to move slowly in high-profile cases. Jurors aren’t required to know nothing about the allegations against Greitens. But his attorneys have been trying to exclude those who may have difficulty setting aside their opinions.
Greitens is charged with felony invasion of privacy for allegedly taking and transmitting a photo of an at least partially nude woman without her consent in 2015.
The Republican governor has acknowledged having an affair but denied criminal wrongdoing.
An attorney for Gov. Eric Greitens’ campaign has turned over more than 14,000 documents to a House investigatory committee but is objecting to a subpoena issued to a separate secretive group that has supported Greitens’ agenda.
Attorney Catherine Hanaway said Monday that she doesn’t believe the committee called A New Missouri falls within the scope of the House investigation.
House investigatory committee chairman Jay Barnes said it’s considering its options for how to enforce the subpoena.
The House investigation could eventually lead to impeachment proceedings against Greitens but is separate from his criminal trial underway this week in St. Louis on an invasion-of-privacy charge.
The House panel issued subpoenas after Hanaway complained it hadn’t sought the campaign’s input before releasing a report May 2 about Greitens’ political use of a charity donor list.
A special House committee investigating Gov. Eric Greitens says it has received some but not all of the documents it requested from the governor’s political committees.
Committee Chairman Jay Barnes said Monday that the House had issued subpoenas for documents and testimony from Greitens’ campaign committee, former campaign manager Austin Chambers and a secretive committee called “A New Missouri” that has supported Greitens’ agenda.
Barnes said a Greitens attorney supplied a “substantial number” of documents but also objected to providing “other large categories of documents.”
The House investigation is separate from Greitens’ criminal trial on invasion of privacy.
The House panel issued subpoenas after a Greitens’ campaign attorney complained the panel hadn’t sought its input before releasing a report about Greitens’ political use of a charity donor list.
A lawyer for Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says prosecutors have stopped looking for the photo in connection with his felony invasion of privacy trial, a contention a prosecutor did not dispute in court.
The charge against Greitens stems from his allegedly taking and transmitting a photo of a partially nude woman during a sexual encounter in 2015. Prosecutors have acknowledged that they did not have the photo but left open the possibility that they would obtain it.
Defense lawyer Jim Martin said Monday that the circuit attorney’s office told Greitens’ team Friday that they had obtained information from the cloud but did not have a photo. Martin said prosecutors said they had stopped pursuing a photo.
Judge Rex Burlison asked prosecutor Ronald Sullivan if he had a response to the defense’s contention, and he said he did not.
Jury selection continues Monday.
Jury selection is taking longer than expected in the criminal trial of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.
Opening arguments had been expected to begin Monday. Instead, attorneys who began screening 160 prospective jurors last week are to continuing doing so Monday. And that process is now expected to last into Tuesday.
Greitens is charged with felony invasion of privacy for allegedly taking and transmitting a photo of a woman in a compromising position without her permission in March 2015. The Republican governor has denied any criminal wrongdoing but has acknowledged having an extramarital affair with the woman. He hasn’t directly answered questions about whether he took the photo.
The affair ended more than a year before Greitens won the election in November 2016.