Missouri Governor Greitens Pushes Back, Issues Another Statement

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens speaks to civic leaders and clergy at Washington Metropolitan AME Zion Church ahead of a verdict in the trial of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in St. Louis. Stockley is accused in the 2011 killing of a black man following a high-speed chase, prompting clergy to warn of possible unrest if he is acquitted. Former St. Louis officer Jason Stockley's trial ended last month, but Judge Timothy Wilson has yet to rule. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Following the release late yesterday afternoon of the Missouri House’s Committee on Oversight’s report, there’s been a great deal of focus on what the future holds for Missouri’s embattled Governor, Eric Greitens.

As noted this morning, there have been calls — from Democrat and Republican quarters — for him to step down, or for impeachment proceedings to be brought.  There is some disagreement as to whether his alleged actions prior to his becoming Governor — no matter how distasteful one might consider them — constitute proper grounds for impeachment. Article VII, Section 1 of the Missouri Constitution provides:

Impeachment–officers liable–grounds.

Section 1. All elective executive officials of the state, and judges of the supreme court, courts of appeals and circuit courts shall be liable to impeachment for crimes, misconduct, habitual drunkenness, willful neglect of duty, corruption in office, incompetency, or any offense involving moral turpitude or oppression in office.

The Governor, however, is pushing back. This morning, his legal team filed a Motion with the Trial Court in the ongoing criminal proceeding (for Felony Invasion of Privacy), alleging misconduct on the part of the prosecution:

Attorneys for Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens are asking a judge to dismiss a criminal indictment against him while accusing prosecutors of misconduct for withholding a videotaped interview of a woman with whom he had an affair.

In court Thursday, Greitens’ attorneys said prosecutors who initially claimed the recorder had malfunctioned finally shared a copy of the recording Wednesday night. They said that occurred only after a House investigatory committee had released separate testimony from the woman saying that Greitens had initiated an aggressive, unwanted sexual encounter in 2015.

Greitens attorneys say the woman’s videotaped interview from March backs up Greitens’ claim that the encounter was consensual.

A judge says he’s considering what he described as serious allegations of perjury and dishonesty against the prosecutors. He made no immediate ruling.

This afternoon, Governor Greitens released the following statement:

We told you yesterday afternoon that the House report would be incomplete. It was.

We told people that they needed to see all the evidence. And now, we have proof that Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner and her team hid evidence from the people of Missouri and from the Missouri House of Representatives—evidence that undermined the narrative pushed in the House report.

Kim Gardner hid a video that she knew directly contradicted allegations in the House report, and she allowed her lead investigator to lie about it, under oath.

Just last night—as false stories were being pushed to press—the prosecutor turned over a videotape of her interview with the woman. This was evidence that the prosecutor was legally required to turn over months ago. She purposefully kept it hidden until one hour after the false report was released.

The House report contained explosive, hurtful allegations of coercion, violence, and assault. They are false. Those allegations can be refuted with facts. Despite the Circuit Attorney’s attempts to keep it from the people of Missouri, we have video evidence that contains some of those facts.

In the video, the woman talks for almost two hours, and never once mentions any coercion. In the House report, there is a false allegation that I slapped the woman. That allegation had been made once before, and it was disproven. The story changed, so I will say again: it did not happen. On this new video, she says that when this story broke in the media, she asked her two friends if they ever remembered her talking about a slap, and they both said “No.” The witness claimed to the House that she was coerced into sexual activity on the morning of March 21st. This is inconsistent with her statements in the video interview with the Circuit Attorney.

The report that was put out last night did not contain this evidence, and the allegations in that report will refuted by facts, including this video, depositions, discovery, and other evidence that will be subjected to the rigors of a courtroom analysis. In 32 days, a court of law and a jury of my peers will let every person in Missouri know the truth and prove my innocence.

We’ll continue to follow this story and update with developments.