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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: 292811

Reported Deaths: 6613
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19560229
Hinds18674385
Harrison16512276
Rankin12595262
Jackson12451217
Lee9663160
Madison9400195
Jones7891145
Forrest7140136
Lauderdale6784225
Lowndes6008137
Lamar584480
Lafayette5707113
Washington5159128
Bolivar4594120
Oktibbeha439991
Panola426892
Pearl River4116128
Warren4114113
Pontotoc407368
Marshall399492
Monroe3980126
Union392873
Neshoba3767166
Lincoln3464100
Hancock339973
Leflore3358118
Sunflower317185
Tate300874
Pike298393
Scott292567
Alcorn290360
Itawamba288871
Yazoo283862
Tippah275665
Copiah274557
Coahoma272766
Simpson271778
Prentiss268658
Leake251770
Wayne251340
Marion250778
Covington247878
Grenada245876
Adams233277
George230645
Newton224751
Winston220275
Jasper211844
Tishomingo211765
Attala206269
Chickasaw200650
Holmes181670
Clay178149
Stone171429
Tallahatchie169839
Clarke168671
Calhoun156428
Smith151831
Yalobusha142936
Greene126833
Walthall123540
Noxubee122729
Perry121434
Montgomery121237
Lawrence119321
Carroll117623
Amite110832
Webster109929
Jefferson Davis100531
Tunica98623
Claiborne97729
Benton93124
Humphreys91626
Kemper89522
Quitman77014
Franklin75519
Choctaw69516
Wilkinson62226
Jefferson61427
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 491110

Reported Deaths: 9831
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson706291356
Mobile35894721
Madison32255442
Tuscaloosa23996409
Montgomery22462494
Shelby21820215
Baldwin19670274
Lee14900150
Morgan13599249
Calhoun13175285
Etowah13143319
Marshall11226206
Houston10048259
Elmore9337183
Limestone9335134
Cullman8869179
St. Clair8783220
Lauderdale8581210
DeKalb8429174
Talladega7481163
Walker6504251
Jackson6477102
Autauga620389
Blount6086125
Colbert5978118
Coffee5230102
Dale4621106
Russell401831
Franklin397876
Covington3956106
Chilton384298
Escambia377172
Tallapoosa3572141
Clarke342949
Dallas3397141
Chambers3392108
Pike293071
Lawrence281384
Marion280894
Winston246166
Bibb244260
Geneva238670
Marengo233354
Pickens223954
Barbour209951
Hale208868
Fayette199756
Butler195165
Henry182041
Cherokee176438
Monroe165938
Randolph163140
Washington156634
Crenshaw143554
Clay143354
Macon140943
Cleburne136839
Lamar131732
Lowndes130648
Wilcox120825
Bullock116336
Conecuh106523
Perry105327
Sumter98431
Coosa87823
Greene87032
Choctaw54823
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