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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.

Confirmed Cases: 97049

Reported Deaths: 2919
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7148160
DeSoto562361
Harrison388374
Jackson352170
Madison331289
Rankin330879
Lee274870
Forrest250075
Jones249879
Washington225977
Lafayette219340
Lauderdale2064125
Bolivar184766
Oktibbeha180152
Lamar172435
Neshoba1580104
Lowndes157958
Panola150731
Sunflower147346
Leflore141381
Warren140950
Pontotoc127916
Pike124051
Monroe123669
Copiah119233
Scott117627
Coahoma116229
Marshall111117
Lincoln110453
Holmes109859
Grenada109536
Yazoo106230
Simpson104746
Tate100638
Union99824
Leake96138
Adams94237
Wayne90521
Pearl River89453
Marion86835
Prentiss86317
Itawamba83121
Covington82723
Alcorn82311
George78213
Tallahatchie77421
Newton77324
Winston74219
Tishomingo69138
Chickasaw68524
Tippah67217
Attala67025
Clarke60346
Walthall60226
Clay59618
Hancock58822
Jasper57715
Noxubee55116
Smith53615
Calhoun52212
Tunica49715
Claiborne46516
Montgomery46520
Yalobusha43614
Lawrence43313
Perry42419
Greene38717
Humphreys37815
Quitman3775
Stone37512
Jefferson Davis34211
Webster33813
Amite33210
Carroll32012
Wilkinson30518
Kemper29015
Sharkey26613
Jefferson2439
Benton2283
Franklin1933
Choctaw1866
Issaquena1053
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 136055

Reported Deaths: 2364
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19752350
Mobile13449292
Montgomery8852184
Tuscaloosa8654118
Madison792778
Shelby601349
Lee592760
Baldwin552650
Marshall396143
Calhoun353444
Etowah352145
Morgan331428
Houston292021
Elmore267348
DeKalb243221
St. Clair233036
Walker231984
Talladega217129
Limestone211920
Cullman190720
Dallas179126
Franklin178129
Autauga177325
Russell17633
Lauderdale172333
Colbert166626
Blount161715
Escambia161124
Chilton158830
Jackson158111
Covington140327
Dale139244
Coffee13596
Pike120510
Chambers116842
Tallapoosa116485
Clarke110016
Marion96829
Butler91339
Barbour8857
Winston74512
Marengo72420
Pickens66614
Bibb65610
Lowndes65427
Randolph65413
Hale64428
Geneva6344
Lawrence62123
Cherokee61213
Bullock60614
Monroe5908
Clay5878
Washington55913
Perry5416
Crenshaw54032
Conecuh53611
Wilcox53211
Henry5075
Macon48318
Fayette4628
Sumter43819
Cleburne3825
Lamar3702
Choctaw35112
Greene30315
Coosa1723
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