Charge dropped against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens

Attorneys representing the state of Missouri announced Monday they will drop a felony invasion of privacy charge agai...

Posted: May 15, 2018 10:33 AM
Updated: May 15, 2018 10:33 AM

Attorneys representing the state of Missouri announced Monday they will drop a felony invasion of privacy charge against Gov. Eric Greitens, after the attorney prosecuting the case was named as a witness in the trial.

However, the decision might only mark a temporary victory for Greitens. Prosecutors said they plan to name either a special prosecutor or one of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner's assistants to refile the charge and move forward with the case.

"The court's order leaves the Circuit Attorney no adequate means of proceeding with this trial," Gardner's office said in a statement. "Therefore, the court has left the circuit Attorney with no other legal option than to dismiss and refile this matter."

Greitens' team named Gardner as a possible defense witness, something her office's statement called a tactic "to distract people from the defendant's actions."

Greitens faced the invasion of privacy charge stemming from a photo he allegedly took of a woman with whom he had an affair, when she was bound and blindfolded. The governor has also been charged with felony computer tampering relating to his campaign's alleged use of a charity donor list.

As he has found himself in legal jeopardy, Greitens is confronting a fight for his political life, with Missouri House and Senate leaders set to convene a special legislative session Friday to consider impeaching the governor.

A Missouri House committee investigating Greitens is also moving ahead with its work, announcing in a brief meeting Monday that subpoenas have been issued for the Greitens for Missouri campaign, the pro-Greitens nonprofit group A New Missouri, and the governor's former campaign manager and top political adviser Austin Chambers. CNN has previously reached out to Chambers' attorney for comment but has not received a response.

Greitens has maintained his innocence of any crimes and panned the investigations into his conduct as a "political witch hunt." But a roster of Missouri Republican lawmakers have called on the governor to step down, including Attorney General Josh Hawley, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in the upcoming midterm elections.

Greitens celebrated the decision on Twitter.

"Today, the prosecutor dropped the false charges against me," he said. "This was a great victory and a long time coming. I've said from the beginning that I am innocent."

He added, "This experience has also been humbling, and I've emerged from it a changed man. I believe that in all of our lives, we have to deal with pain, and that if we deal with it in the right way, we can learn wisdom."

Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson, House Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr, and House Majority Leader Rob Vescovo issued a joint statement calling for the legislature's work investigating Greitens to continue.

"The legislature is a separate and a co-equal branch of government with a separate responsibility entrusted to it by our Constitution. We owe it to Missourians to have a fair and thorough investigation of the facts," the statement said.

"To date the committee's work has not only provided two reports on the facts to the General Assembly but, more importantly, it has also exposed additional concerns relating to the governor's conduct. This is why we remain committed to that process and await any recommendations it has for the House. Without the pending trial this week, it allows the Governor to take advantage of our open offer to share his side of the facts."

Republican Missouri Senate leaders similarly said the charge being dropped doesn't change the situation.

"The dismissal of the felony invasion of privacy charge does not change the facts that have been revealed to the Missouri House of Representative's Special Committee on Oversight," the statement aid. "The House's investigation and the Circuit Attorney's case are two separate paths. The members of the House committee have discovered a disturbing pattern of allegations, most of which are completely separate from the case dismissed today."

"They need time to finish their investigation. We now hope the governor and his staff are more forthcoming with the facts, and they decide to appear before the special investigative committee. The governor has lost the moral authority and the ability to lead the state going forward, and we reaffirm our call that he resign immediately."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 314710

Reported Deaths: 7254
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21646260
Hinds20369416
Harrison17949309
Rankin13643278
Jackson13450246
Madison10113217
Lee9986174
Jones8384163
Forrest7689152
Lauderdale7198240
Lowndes6403148
Lamar623686
Lafayette6203119
Washington5341134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462998
Panola4596107
Pearl River4519146
Marshall4450103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420872
Monroe4115133
Union411176
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3969110
Hancock379586
Leflore3498125
Sunflower336290
Tate334784
Pike3327105
Scott316274
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311770
Itawamba300577
Copiah297465
Coahoma295579
Simpson295388
Tippah288768
Adams286982
Prentiss280060
Marion269380
Leake268473
Wayne262841
Grenada261587
Covington259881
George248148
Newton246862
Winston227581
Tishomingo227067
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw208057
Holmes189174
Clay185554
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178941
Clarke178080
Calhoun170932
Yalobusha164638
Smith162534
Walthall134245
Greene130633
Lawrence128724
Montgomery127142
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton100025
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83923
Quitman81116
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67531
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 539829

Reported Deaths: 11038
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson798271529
Mobile41261809
Madison35132506
Tuscaloosa25915455
Shelby25294249
Montgomery24705593
Baldwin21392310
Lee15987172
Calhoun14569319
Morgan14422280
Etowah13918353
Marshall12275225
Houston10641282
Elmore10147206
Limestone10065151
St. Clair9946245
Cullman9761194
Lauderdale9457243
DeKalb8865188
Talladega8339176
Walker7260278
Autauga7001108
Jackson6836112
Blount6771139
Colbert6320135
Coffee5578118
Dale4876113
Russell445138
Chilton4369113
Franklin426282
Covington4138118
Tallapoosa4044153
Escambia394777
Chambers3590123
Dallas3568153
Clarke351461
Marion3137101
Pike311977
Lawrence302698
Winston275773
Bibb264564
Geneva254078
Marengo249665
Pickens234862
Barbour232056
Hale223978
Butler219069
Fayette212662
Henry189643
Cherokee184645
Randolph182442
Monroe178141
Washington167739
Macon161150
Clay157157
Crenshaw153557
Cleburne149641
Lamar143236
Lowndes140553
Wilcox127430
Bullock123242
Conecuh110829
Coosa109228
Perry107826
Sumter104932
Greene92634
Choctaw61024
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