Prosecutor drops privacy invasion charge against Missouri governor after jury selection begins

Wednesday, 16 May, 2018

House Speaker Todd Richardson, House Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr and House Majority Floor Leader Rob Vescovo said in a statement they're still waiting for a recommendation from a special House committee on whether to impeach Greitens. In addition to perjury, that includes $100,000 in secret cash payments for a witness or witnesses, payments that were concealed from our defense team by the Circuit Attorney's Office.

On Twitter, Greitens said Gardner's decision to drop charges was a "great victory".

Defense lawyers representing Greitens said in court Monday they were told by the circuit attorney's office Friday that they had sifted through about 16,000 photos during a forensic examination of his phone and information from the cloud, but that they did not have the photo.

Gardner's office has said the charge stemming from Greitens' 2015 extramarital affair be refiled by a special prosecutor or an assistant in her office.

Greitens, 44, was charged with felony invasion of privacy for allegedly taking and transmitting a photo of an at least partially nude woman without her permission in March 2015, before he was elected governor. Prosecutors accused Mr. Greitens of using the donor list of a veterans' charity he founded for political fund-raising, a charge that could lead to a four-year prison sentence if he is convicted.

A felony conviction related to sexual misconduct would have nearly assured Greitens' impeachment, said Dave Robertson, chair of the political science department at the University of Missouri-St. The special prosecutor, who would most likely be based in another Missouri county, would have 27 days from Monday to re-file the charges before the statute of limitations expires, according to the Kansas City Star. Denny Hoskins, a Republican who has clashed with Greitens.

Prosecutor drops privacy invasion charge against Missouri governor after jury selection begins

Prosecutors said they will make a decision later on whether to seek a special prosecutor or appoint someone to continue pursuing the case.

Republican Rep. Bryan Spencer, who initially signed and then removed his name for the petition, said he's heard from about two dozen people who believe "that with charges being dropped that the special session should be dissolved".

The House investigation is separate from Greitens' criminal trial on invasion of privacy. It chose to call Greitens' policy adviser Will Scharf as a witness and to subpoena information about a couple of obscure companies that contributed tens of thousands of dollars to Greitens' campaign. The panel wants to ask him about a memo he wrote in July 2016 about an apparent plan to funnel money to Greitens' campaign from anonymous donors. Schron Y. Jackson, a police spokeswoman, said officers had opened an investigation.

Galloway released a letter Tuesday that she had sent to Greitens' office seeking copies of bids and contracts for the attorneys, itemized billings and the budget line item from which they are being paid.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, image courtesy of KTVI.