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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.

Confirmed Cases: 36287

Reported Deaths: 1249
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds299254
DeSoto195920
Madison148439
Jones122449
Harrison117716
Rankin112619
Neshoba104677
Forrest103843
Lauderdale96681
Scott82415
Jackson79819
Washington73713
Copiah67016
Leake63420
Lee62822
Oktibbeha61928
Grenada6049
Warren60021
Holmes59541
Lamar5837
Wayne56519
Yazoo5607
Lowndes54817
Leflore53456
Lincoln53335
Lafayette5064
Pike50520
Sunflower5048
Monroe46135
Panola4546
Covington4465
Simpson4433
Bolivar41218
Tate39213
Attala38624
Newton37610
Adams35820
Pontotoc3556
Marion34512
Claiborne30811
Pearl River30332
Winston30111
Chickasaw30019
Marshall2923
Jasper2816
Noxubee2799
Walthall2708
Clay26111
Union25412
Smith25212
Coahoma2306
Clarke22325
Lawrence2132
Yalobusha2089
Tallahatchie1954
Kemper18414
Carroll18211
Montgomery1793
Calhoun1705
Humphreys16910
Hancock14813
Itawamba1478
Tippah14611
Webster13411
Jefferson1283
Prentiss1274
Jefferson Davis1254
Tunica1253
George1233
Greene11610
Amite1123
Alcorn1072
Tishomingo1061
Quitman1011
Wilkinson989
Perry914
Stone772
Choctaw764
Franklin542
Sharkey480
Benton470
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6746170
Mobile4904140
Montgomery4547112
Tuscaloosa269053
Madison22689
Marshall198011
Shelby169125
Lee159637
Morgan13385
Baldwin127711
Walker107532
Elmore106721
Etowah101114
Dallas10029
DeKalb9677
Franklin93816
Autauga69815
Russell6860
Unassigned67928
Chambers67730
Butler65229
Limestone6393
Tallapoosa63069
Cullman6156
Houston6077
Lauderdale5776
St. Clair5443
Calhoun5155
Colbert5096
Escambia4888
Lowndes48422
Pike4795
Jackson4352
Coffee4284
Covington41612
Talladega4017
Barbour3992
Dale3951
Bullock37810
Hale35423
Marengo35411
Chilton3312
Blount3201
Clarke3176
Wilcox3038
Winston2995
Sumter29213
Marion29014
Pickens2746
Randolph2639
Monroe2603
Perry2502
Conecuh2318
Bibb2241
Macon2199
Choctaw21712
Greene1989
Henry1553
Washington1488
Lawrence1360
Crenshaw1323
Cherokee1247
Geneva980
Lamar891
Clay852
Fayette851
Coosa661
Cleburne451
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