Show Me the Money: Judge in Governor Greitens Case Orders Attorney to Disclose Source of Mystery Funds

FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2018, file photo, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens listens to a question during an interview in his office at the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City, Mo., where he discussed having an extramarital affair in 2015 before taking office. His political future faces a big test Wednesday, April 11 when a special legislative committee issues an investigative report related to the affair. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)
Attorney Albert Watkins works in his office Monday, May 4, 2015, in Clayton, Mo. Watkins has filed a lawsuit in an effort to obtain court files and adoption records that might shed light on what exactly happened in at Homer G. Phillips Hospital in St. Louis after nearly 20 women came to him expressing concerns that their infants who reportedly died at birth at the now-closed hospital, mostly from the mid-1950s through the mid-1960s, were actually stolen and adopted by others. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The saga continues for Missouri Governor Eric Greitens (and the citizens of Missouri.) As we reported previously, the attorney for the ex-husband of Greitens’ mistress acknowledged earlier this week that he received $100,000 from a “mystery donor,” in January.

It was a busy day for Al Watkins, one of the lawyers at the center of the invasion of privacy case against Governor Eric Greitens.

Defense attorneys for the Governor dropped the bombshell that sources tell them Watkins, who represents the ex-husband of the Governor’s mistress, accepted a payment of $100,000 from an unnamed political group for representing the man.

James Martin, one of Greitens’ attorneys, never gave any evidence that the group was political in nature.

The defense has filed a subpoena of Watkin’s bank records to prove it.

Watkins told Judge Rex Burlison he will file a motion to quash the subpoena Tuesday. Shortly after the court appearance, Watkins confirmed to reporters that he did receive the payment, but said he didn’t even know the source of the money. He told the Associated Press a courier delivered two payment of $50,000 to his suburban St. Louis office in early January.

Today, the Judge overseeing Greitens’ criminal trial ordered Watkins to disclose the source of those funds:

Circuit Judge Rex Burlison on Friday ordered lawyer Al Watkins to be deposed next week about the source of two $50,000 cash bundles delivered anonymously at his Clayton law firm a month before Gov. Eric Greitens was indicted on a felony charge of invasion of privacy.

“I think that’s a relevant inquiry,” Burlison told lawyers toward the end of an hour-long hearing Friday. “The answer to that question needs to be tracked down.”

Further adding to the muddle, Watkins now claims to know the source of the money after all:

The governor’s defense team says they want to know what motivated the ex-husband to come forward to News 4 and other media outlets. Even the lawyers now have lawyers in the case that just keeps getting more complex.

Earlier in the week, Watkins stood on the steps of the courthouse and told reporters that he had recieved two anonymous cash payments. He’s now hired attorneys who told the judge Friday the payments came from one of Watkins’ clients, but they argued that Watkins shouldn’t have to reveal who it is, saying it’s not relevant.  The attorneys argued that Watkins wasn’t in the basement when Greitens is alleged to have taken a picture of a woman without her consent.

Burlison also ordered the woman’s cell phone turned over by Monday. A special master has been appointed to oversee the download and production of the data from the phone.

Today’s ruling comes on the heels of several other significant developments in the case:

Earlier this week, Burlison refused to allow defense lawyers to question Democratic Party Chairman Roy Temple about claims he provided money to Greitens’ accuser’s ex-husband. Temple denied providing any money to anyone.

….

 On Thursday, former FBI agent William Don Tisaby, a private investigator hired by Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner to lead the invasion of privacy investigation of the governor, refused to answer questions, leading defense lawyers to call for witnesses and evidence linked to the investigator to be excluded from the case.
The criminal trial is set to start on May 14th, with jury selection commencing on May 10th.