The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s indictment of Gov. Eric Greitens for one count of felony invasion of privacy raises lots of questions. St. Louis Public Radio asked our social media followers on Twitter and Facebook to send their questions to us.
Find answers to legal questions here: What You Need to Know About the Greitens Indictment
Below are the most frequently asked questions and our answers:
Can the Missouri law used to indict Greitens be used against anyone who uses social media to post any picture of a person without their knowledge?
No. The statute specifically mentions a photo taken of someone with a reasonable expectation of privacy, so taking a photo of someone walking on the street and then tweeting it doesn’t count.
Also, it’s worth remembering that the governor is not charged with publicly sharing the photo, or even sending it to someone. The indictment says the photo was “transmitted ... in a manner that allowed access to that image via a computer.” That element of computer access made the charge a felony.
Does the indictment factually contradict any of Greitens’ public statements?
The indictment is the prosecutor’s version of events and the start of a criminal legal process.
The indictment alleges that Greitens took a photo of someone who was partially nude and who expected privacy, and then he stored the photo in a way that could be accessed by a computer. The charge is for taking and digitally storing a compromising photo, something the governor never confirmed or denied doing. Greitens has repeatedly said he never threatened his mistress or broke the law, and the indictment doesn’t mention threats or blackmail.
Will the Missouri Legislature do anything about an indicted governor or wait until there's a trial or verdict?
The impeachment process begins in the House, and while House leaders said Thursday that they will create a group of legislators to investigate, it’s not yet clear what action they’ll take.
For more about impeachment, here’s a story from 2014 when some lawmakers were talking about impeaching then-Gov. Jay Nixon: Some Missouri Legislators Talk Impeachment, But Prospects Are Slim
Can we as citizens force him to resign?
Does the indictment spur his removal from office, or only a conviction?
The governor, or any elected executive official, being convicted of a felony is grounds for removal from office.
Who is paying for Greitens’ legal team?
We’ve asked, and they won’t answer.
Greitens has hired former St. Louis judge and alderman Jack Garvey to join his legal team. We asked Garvey who was paying him, and he declined to answer. He also wouldn’t answer whether he is a new addition to the legal team or if he is replacing one of Greitens’ current lawyers. For more on Garvey, read our story: Former St. Louis judge has joined governor's legal team
What happens next?
Greitens’ case will have a hearing in March. And the Missouri House of Representatives will begin its investigation.
This story is still developing, so we don’t have all the answers. Here are some questions submitted via social media that we’re still looking into:
- Who has seen the photo? Did he transmit it using the controversial Confide app? Did he send the photo to anyone?
- Did Greitens’ mistress testify in the grand jury investigation? Did the grand jury indict based on her former husband's phone recording?
- What happens to the human trafficking bill that was delivered to Greitens earlier this week if he is arraigned before signing it?
We want to hear from you
What unanswered questions do you have about the Greitens indictment? What do you want to know? What questions should our reporters be asking? Tweet us @stlpublicradio or email Lindsay Toler at firstname.lastname@example.org.