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Eric Greitens is in deep, deep trouble

The indictment of Missouri Republ...

Posted: Feb 23, 2018 11:12 AM
Updated: Feb 23, 2018 11:12 AM

The indictment of Missouri Republican Gov. Eric Greitens on a felony charge of invasion of privacy Thursday night further imperils his already dicey political future.

The charge stems from allegations that Greitens used a photo of his naked mistress as a form of blackmail to keep her quiet about their affair. Greitens had acknowledged the affair but denied the blackmail allegation.

In a statement on the indictment, the circuit attorney for St. Louis, Kimberly Gardner, said the alleged incident took place in 2015; she pledged to "hold public officials accountable in the same manner as any other resident."

Greitens' attorney, Edward Dowd Jr., said of the charge: "In forty years of public and private practice, I have never seen anything like this. The charges against my client are baseless and unfounded. My client is absolutely innocent. We will be filing a motion to dismiss."

I'm no lawyer and won't make any predictions about how the legal proceedings will play out. But I know politics -- and I can guarantee you Greitens' chances of surviving this mess just went way down.

Greitens appeared to have weathered the initial furor caused by KMOV's first report of the affair and the allegations in January. That, in spite of the fact that some of the enemies he had made within his own party used the revelations to even the score with him; he received only tepid support from Republicans in the state Legislature.

"Like many Missourians, we find these serious allegations shocking and concerning," Missouri Senate Republican leaders said in a statement. "As this situation is evolving, we expect the governor to be honest and forthright."

As Jason Rosenbaum of St. Louis Public Radio told me last month of Greitens: "He doesn't have the robust support among elected political leaders to get a lot of backup right now. Railing against 'career politicians' can be an attractive message, but it can also have its downsides when those people have to pass your agenda."

But the dam never really broke on Greitens. For the past month-plus, he disappeared from the national news -- and Republicans in the state weren't forced daily to go on the record either in support or opposition to him.

Then today happened.

It is going to be very, very hard for any Republican in Missouri -- or anywhere else -- to avoid having a position on whether Greitens should stay or go after the indictment.

"We will carefully examine the facts contained in the indictment, and answer the question as to whether or not the governor can lead our state while a felony case moves forward," Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson, Floor Leader Rob Vescovo and Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr -- all Republicans -- said Thursday in a statement, announcing they have begun an investigation into the matter. "The people of Missouri deserve no less. We will begin the process of tasking a group of legislators to investigate these serious charges."

The Democratic Governors Association called for Greitens to resign late Thursday -- and you can expect plenty more Democrats to follow suit.

Greitens may try to bunker in -- again -- in hopes that this all passes, he is exonerated and he can recover enough to be a credible candidate for a second term in 2020.

But given Missouri's clear Republican lean -- and the seriousness of the charge Greitens is facing -- it's possible that Republicans in the state (and nationally) will decide to cut bait on the incumbent rather than risk badly tarnishing the party's brand.

I might even say that scenario is now probable.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 263023

Reported Deaths: 5752
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17675191
Hinds16813331
Harrison14224204
Rankin11167219
Jackson10839190
Lee9050144
Madison8568168
Jones6668114
Forrest6177124
Lauderdale6097192
Lowndes5518120
Lafayette516298
Lamar503965
Washington4923125
Bolivar4104109
Oktibbeha405982
Panola384881
Pontotoc376258
Warren3674103
Monroe3671108
Union355663
Marshall355270
Neshoba3485154
Pearl River3468105
Leflore3111109
Lincoln305688
Hancock291862
Sunflower291475
Tate279662
Alcorn272354
Pike268981
Itawamba268063
Scott259648
Yazoo255256
Prentiss252553
Tippah249250
Copiah249049
Coahoma248054
Simpson242171
Leake237367
Grenada223272
Marion222073
Covington219973
Adams213671
Wayne212634
Winston207371
George204339
Newton199046
Attala196963
Tishomingo194161
Chickasaw189044
Jasper179538
Holmes171768
Clay165837
Tallahatchie156235
Stone151425
Clarke147262
Calhoun140822
Smith129226
Yalobusha122034
Walthall114337
Greene113529
Noxubee112926
Montgomery111636
Carroll106622
Lawrence106517
Perry104531
Amite101426
Webster96124
Tunica88821
Claiborne88325
Jefferson Davis88329
Benton85623
Humphreys84624
Kemper80520
Quitman7089
Franklin69917
Choctaw63213
Wilkinson59825
Jefferson56821
Sharkey45117
Issaquena1606
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 439442

Reported Deaths: 6657
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson644371007
Mobile31435569
Madison28158217
Tuscaloosa21492275
Montgomery19873332
Shelby19248132
Baldwin17128189
Lee13137107
Morgan12594142
Etowah12070181
Calhoun11496206
Marshall10420123
Houston8988164
Limestone832081
Cullman8257124
Elmore8183110
DeKalb7871107
Lauderdale7847107
St. Clair7808130
Talladega6445112
Walker6028183
Jackson599145
Colbert548694
Blount546286
Autauga535862
Coffee460764
Dale409685
Franklin374150
Russell354215
Chilton344373
Covington338580
Escambia334544
Tallapoosa3143109
Dallas312996
Chambers303470
Clarke298036
Pike262431
Lawrence253355
Marion253161
Winston233342
Bibb222348
Geneva210247
Marengo208231
Pickens199531
Hale184944
Barbour180538
Fayette177829
Butler173160
Cherokee165131
Henry159525
Monroe152021
Randolph145536
Washington141727
Clay129746
Crenshaw123745
Macon121937
Cleburne121525
Lamar119922
Lowndes114836
Wilcox107922
Bullock103328
Perry99918
Conecuh97822
Sumter90527
Greene77923
Coosa63418
Choctaw51924
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