JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has faced multiple investigations on a variety of issues, including allegations of sexual misconduct, misusing charity resources for political purposes and ignoring open-records requirements.
The first-term Republican governor has acknowledged having an extramarital affair but denied criminal wrongdoing and harshly criticized those pursuing the investigations against him. The Legislature on Thursday called itself into a special session that will take place later this month to consider impeaching Greitens.
Here’s a look at some of the allegations against Greitens:
Greitens is to go to trial May 14 in St. Louis on a felony indictment alleging he took a nonconsensual photo of an at least partially nude woman in March 2015 and transmitted it in a way that could be accessed by a computer. The woman, who is Greitens’ former hairdresser, has said Greitens bound her hands to exercise rings, blindfolded her and removed her clothing before taking the picture and threatening to disclose it if she ever spoke of the incident.
Greitens has acknowledged having a consensual affair with the woman but has not directly answered questions about whether he took a photo of her in a compromising position.
The incident was first publicly reported on Jan. 10 by St. Louis television station KMOV, which aired portions of an audio recording secretly made by the woman’s ex-husband in which she told him about her interaction with Greitens.
Following Greitens’ indictment Feb. 22, the House created a special investigatory committee to look into allegations against the governor. It released a report April 11 containing testimony from the woman alleging that Greitens may have coerced her into oral sex after taking the unwanted photo and had forcefully slapped and shoved her during subsequent sexual encounters.
The House committee is to recommend whether to initiate impeachment proceedings to try to remove Greitens from office.
No trial date is set yet on a second felony charge in St. Louis accusing Greitens of tampering with computer data for allegedly disclosing to his political fundraiser a list of top donors to The Mission Continues without the permission of the veterans’ charity he founded. The charge says the incident occurred in April 2015 as Greitens was raising money for his campaign.
The Associated Press first reported in October 2016 — a month before Greitens’ election — that his campaign had accessed a list containing the names, emails and phone numbers of individuals, corporations and other nonprofit organizations who gave at least $1,000 to The Mission Continues. Its properties showed it was created by a Mission Continues employee in 2014, shortly before Greitens stepped down as CEO of the St. Louis-based charity, and saved by a consultant for his political committee in early 2015.
The AP reported that Greitens’ campaign had raised nearly $2 million from those who had previously given significant amounts to the veterans’ charity. Greitens initially denied that his campaign worked off a Mission Continues donor list.
But in April 2017, Greitens acknowledged in a settlement with the Missouri Ethics Commission that his campaign had in fact received the charity’s donor list. He amended his campaign finance reports to show the list as an in-kind donation valued at $600 received in March 2015 from Danny Laub, who was his campaign manager at the time.
Greitens was charged April 20 after Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley, who had been investigating The Mission Continues, referred information about Greitens’ political use of the donor list to St. Louis prosecutors.
The House investigatory committee on Wednesday released a report on the issue and transcripts of an aide’s testimony that indicate Greitens’ campaign lied when it settled the ethics commission complaint. Testimony released with the report also says a former campaign aide said he was duped into taking the fall when the governor’s campaign was trying to explain how it had gotten the donor list.
An ongoing civil lawsuit against Greitens alleges he violated the state Sunshine Law while using a cellphone app that automatically deletes messages after they are read. The Confide app prevents recipients from saving, forwarding, printing or taking screenshots of messages.
A Cole County judge ruled April 30 that that lawsuit can go forward on several counts alleging violations of the Sunshine Law, which requires government entities to make most records available to the public. The judge dismissed several additional counts alleging violations of a state law setting forth how long records must be retained.
Hawley also launched an investigation last year after The Kansas City Star reported Greitens and some of his staff had Confide accounts. Hawley’s report, released March 1, said it didn’t appear Greitens’ staff violated records laws. The report said the only government-related business reported by staff related to logistics and scheduling, and state law doesn’t require those types of messages to be retained.
Hawley said he lacked authority to issue subpoena-like demands compelling people to provide documents or information while investigating alleged violations of the state Sunshine Law or record-retention law. Hawley has said he would reopen the investigation if granted such authority. A bill to do so is pending in the Legislature.
Hawley’s office confirmed in April that it also is reviewing Greitens’ compliance with state open-records laws in his use of social media.
Greitens established personal Facebook and Twitter accounts before he took office but has continued to post statements on those sites pertaining to public policies and actions he takes as governor.
An earlier review by Hawley’s office concluded Greitens did not have to publicly release records related to his personal Twitter and Facebook accounts. But the attorney general’s office says it has reopened the inquiry based on emails obtained by St. Louis Public Radio that appear to show a governor’s office employee helping to write a Facebook post for the governor.