More Bad News for Missouri's Governor Greitens - Another Potential Felony Investigation?

FILE - In this June 21, 2017 file photo, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley speaks at a news conference in St. Louis. The Missouri attorney general's office has issued 15 subpoenas in an investigation of a veterans charity founded by Gov. Eric Greitens. Hawley told reporters Friday, March 23, 2018, that the office subpoenaed The Mission Continues charity, Greitens' gubernatorial campaign and the Greitens Group. Hawley says the office also subpoenaed staffers or former staffers at the entities. He wouldn't say specifically who. (AP Photo/Jim Salter File)

As if a pending trial for felony invasion of privacy weren’t enough, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens has another reason to be concerned:  The State’s Attorney General has just announced that his office has found additional evidence of potential criminal behavior on the part of Greitens in connection with his campaign.

At a press conference Tuesday morning, Hawley announced:

(T)hat during the course of an investigation into the charity Greitens founded, his office found evidence that Greitens allegedly obtained and transmitted the charity’s donor list for political fundraising.

 “And he did all of this without permission of the Mission Continues,” Hawley said Tuesday.

“This is known as computer tampering. And given the value of the list in question it is a felony.”

The investigation into the potential misuse of the donor list was launched in February.  Hawley has indicated he will be turning his findings over to the Circuit Attorney’s office to determine if a prosecution is warranted, as his office lacks jurisdiction.

This would be the same Circuit Attorney (Kim Gardner) who is currently prosecuting Greitens for allegedly photographing his then-mistress in a state of undress and transmitting it in some fashion and threatening to disseminate it if she ever disclosed their affair. (Greitens has acknowledged the affair, which occurred prior to his election, but continues to deny the allegations regarding the photograph and threat.)  As we noted yesterday, the Judge in that case is set to rule Thursday on the defense’s Motion for Sanctions/to Dismiss for the prosecution’s failure to produce certain evidence. Looks like even if the dismissal is granted, it may be a case of out of the frying pan, into the fire.

Also of note in this morning’s press conference, in response to a question as to whether this latest push on the Greitens matter was prompted by his U.S. Senate candidacy, Hawley responded:

“I’m doing my job, and my job is to enforce the laws of Missouri; to protect the people of Missouri and that’s exactly what I’m doing, and I’m going to go on doing it no matter who criticized me or tries to intimidate me. This office will not be intimidated and we will not be deterred. We will go on doing our job for the people of Missouri.”

This comes on the heels of this tweet (yesterday) from his anticipated opponent for Missouri’s Senate race this fall, Claire McCaskill (D-Mo):

Following the press conference, Governor Greitens released the following statement:

“Fortunately for Josh, he’s better at press conferences than the law. Anyone who has set foot in a Missouri courtroom knows these allegations are ridiculous. Josh has turned the “evidence” he claims to have over to St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner— a liberal prosecutor funded by George Soros who allegedly suborned perjury, falsified documents, and withheld evidence. We will dispense with these false allegations.”

Not to miss out on the fun, Claire McCaskill’s Communications Director issued one, as well:

“We’re glad that Hawley has come out of hiding to acknowledge the existing evidence of criminal behavior of the Governor. However, the sad truth is that this shows gross incompetence on the part of the Attorney General. The evidence in this case has been publicly available since October 2016 — what excuse could Josh Hawley possibly have for failing to pursue an investigation and allowing this evidence to languish for over a year? The only reason the statute of limitations is now a problem in this case is because Hawley was trying to protect his friend and large donor for as long as possible.”

Seems as though the long winter is just about over and things are really starting to heat up in the State of Missouri.