Greitens Indictment | St. Louis Public Radio

Greitens Indictment

Attorney Al Watkins speaks with reporters outside the Carnahan Courthouse in downtown St. Louis following a hearing. March 26, 2018.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A key figure in the legal saga of former Gov. Eric Greitens wants a different judge to decide whether he ran afoul of a gag order.

Al Watkins represented the ex-husband of the woman with whom Greitens had an affair. During Greitens’ invasion-of-privacy trial, St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison restricted attorneys of possible witnesses from talking with the media.

Gov. Eric Greitens, at top left, faces a state House committee investigation led by Jay Barnes, at bottom left. The other committee members at at right.
File Photos | St. Louis Public Radio, TIM BOMMEL | MISSOURI HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS, OFFICE OF MISSOURI HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

The Missouri House committee that's been investigating former Gov. Eric Greitens has done an about-face.

A motion was filed by the House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight late Wednesday to drop its lawsuit seeking records from A New Missouri and Greitens for Missouri.

Artwork by David Kovaluk
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens entered office in 2017 with the opportunity to become the most impactful Republican governor in Missouri history. Never before had a GOP chief executive had so many Republicans in the General Assembly, giving the former Navy SEAL the opportunity to make a policy mark.

By Friday afternoon, Greitens will become a cautionary tale for Missouri politicians. He’ll exit office after five months of scandal and disgrace — leaving his successor, Lt. Gov. Mike Parson, with the opportunity to enact policy change that’s eluded his party for decades.

Carolina Hidalgo I St. Louis Public Radio

Update 11:20 p.m. with statement from Michelle Nasser -- Rep. Jay Barnes has thrown down the gauntlet, as has the rest of the Missouri House committee investigating Gov. Eric Greitens.

The Republican committee chairman announced Friday that they’ve issued a subpoena for the governor to appear and testify under oath on June 4.

St. Louis attorney Al Watkins testifies Thursday before the Missouri House committee investigating Gov. Greitens. May 24, 2018
Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

Updated at 8:15 p.m. with comments from the House committee's attorney.

The attorney representing the ex-husband of the woman with whom Gov. Eric Greitens had an affair made an explosive appearance Thursday before the Missouri House committee investigating the governor’s conduct.

St. Louis attorney Al Watkins contradicted testimony given on Wednesday by Missouri Times publisher Scott Faughn.

Faughn said the $120,000 he gave to Watkins in January was his own money. But as Watkins has told St. Louis Public Radio and other media outlets, he said that Faughn told him the money came from a disgruntled political donor.

On a bitter cold January day in 2014, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker met a crowd of cameras, microphones and shouting reporters on the steps of the Nodaway County Courthouse in Maryville, Missouri.

The story had been raging for months about why a hometown football player had been charged with raping an underage girl – and why charges were mysteriously dropped – in a case that made international headlines.

Gov. Eric Greitens makes a statement to reporters after his invasion of privacy case was dropped in this on May 14, 2018 file photo.
File photo I St. Louis Public Radio

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker will serve as a special prosecutor in the invasion of privacy case against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens

The move comes as St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner bowed out on Monday from being involved in the matter. And the decision to appoint a special prosecutor left open the possibility that Greitens could be charged with another offense.

Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated at 10:22 p.m. May 18 with the latest on the special session.)

Missouri’s special legislative session to consider whether to impeach Gov. Eric Greitens has officially begun, but so far nothing much has happened.

House and Senate members briefly opened the session Friday to make a few motions, then adjourned until Tuesday to hold technical sessions, which last a couple of minutes and only require two or three lawmakers per chamber. But the committee that’s been investigating Greitens is meeting twice next week.

Gov. Eric Greitens, at top, faces a state House committee investigation. The panel members are shown in clockwise order: Rep. Jay Barnes, Rep. Don Phillips, Rep. Kevin Austin, Rep. Jeanie Lauer, Rep. Gina Mitten, Rep. Tommie Pierson Jr, Rep. Shawn Rhoads.
Office of Missouri House of Representatives, File photos | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House committee investigating Gov. Eric Greitens has sued two political groups connected to the governor demanding they turn over documents.

“The Chair of The Committee, as a member of the House of Representatives, ‘has an absolute right to have a subpoena issue(d) to obtain evidence concerning an offense over which the House of Representatives has jurisdiction,” attorneys for the committee wrote in the suit, filed Thursday in Cole County Circuit Court in Jefferson City. “The impeachment of an executive officer of Missouri, including a governor, is an offense over which the House of Representatives has jurisdiction.”

Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

The first open hearing of the Missouri House committee investigating Gov. Eric Greitens featured some heated exchanges between members and the governor’s attorneys.

Committee members heard from Ed Greim and Ross Garber, two attorneys hired by Greitens “in his capacity as governor.” They appeared before the committee Wednesday to propose several rules and a tentative schedule for the 30-day, special legislative session, which begins Friday at 6:30 p.m.

Governor Eric Greitens speaks to reporters outside the Civil Courts Building in downtown St. Louis after his felony invasion of privacy charge was dropped. May 14, 2018
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

In a saga that’s featured twists, turns, drama and intrigue, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s decision to drop a felony invasion of privacy charge was genuinely surprising.

Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

The committee investigating Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens released two emails this morning, one that suggests he might have tried to hide some campaign donations.

However, Greitens’ use of outside groups to not identify some donors has been known publicly for at least two years. He previously had defended the practice as necessary to protect donors.

Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, chairs the House committee that's investigating Gov. Greitens.
Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

The chairman of the Missouri House committee that’s investigating Gov. Eric Greitens said Monday they’re getting pushback from the governor’s camp.

Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, told reporters that they’ve issued a subpoena to Greitens’ advisor Austin Chambers, and to the groups Greitens for Missouri and A New Missouri, via attorney Catherine Hanaway. He said the groups have provided some documents but are refusing to provide others.

News crews sit outside the Civil Courts Building during the first day of jury selection in Gov. Eric Greitens' felony invasion of privacy trial. May 10, 2018
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Defense attorneys for Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens say an examination of his phone has turned up no evidence of the photo at the center of his felony invasion of privacy trial.

Greitens is accused of taking a partially nude and nonconsensual photo of a woman with whom he was having an affair.

The governor’s attorneys said in court Friday that a third party reviewed 16,000 images and saw none connected to the woman. Furthermore, they said a technician found no evidence that a photo was deleted.

Michelle Nasser and Scott Rosenblum, members of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' defense team, arrive at the St. Louis Civil Courts building Thursday morning for the first day of jury selection in Greitens' felony invasion of privacy trial. 051018
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 8:00 p.m. May 10 with more information from the first day — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens was in a St. Louis courtroom Thursday watching jury selection for his upcoming invasion of privacy trial slowly unfold.

Wearing a business suit and a purple tie, Greitens spent most of the day quietly conferring with his attorneys. He’s accused of taking a photograph of a woman with whom he had an affair without her consent — and placing it in a position to be accessed by a computer.

David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Editor's note: This is the third in a series of three stories profiling the main legal figures involved in the trial of Gov. Eric Greitens. A profile of the prosecution ran Tuesday, and a profile of the defense attorneys ran Wednesday.

Nearly 200 St. Louis residents will walk into the Civil Courts building in downtown St. Louis Thursday morning in response to a jury summons for the felony invasion of privacy trial of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.

They'll eventually file into a seventh floor courtroom, where Circuit Judge Rex Burlison will preside, to learn if they will help determine the governor’s guilt.

Political consultant and lobbyist Mike Hafner
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Within days after Mike Hafner began work in January 2015 as a full-time campaign staffer for Republican Eric Greitens, Hafner says he was presented with a copy of the donor list for The Mission Continues, the charity that Greitens helped found.

“We had set a meeting to discuss the donor list, so I could get notes from Eric and build a fundraising plan for his potential candidacy,” Hafner said in an interview Wednesday.

David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Editor's note: This is the second in a series of three stories profiling the main legal figures involved in the trial of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens. A profile of the prosecution ran Tuesday. A profile of the judge will run Thursday.

The felony trial of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, which starts Thursday with jury selection, has the makings of an epic courtroom skirmish.

As one attorney put it, the case is an All-Star Game for the legal community, and a sizable amount of talent is batting for the governor.

David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Editor's note: This is the first in a series of three stories profiling the main legal figures involved in the trial of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens. A profile of the defense attorneys will run Wednesday and the judge on Thursday.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner made history in February when she charged Gov. Eric Greitens with felony invasion of privacy. It was the first time a Missouri governor had been indicted.

In the indictment made public Feb. 22, Gardner said that in 2015, Greitens took a photo of the woman with whom he was having an affair, while she was semi-nude, and then transmitted it so that it could be viewed on a computer.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens helped engineer a freeze on low-income housing tax credits. And that decision is likely to stand unless the legislature makes substantial changes to the program.
File photo I Carolina Hidaglo | St. Louis Public Radio

A St. Louis judge overseeing Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ felony invasion of privacy trial has declined to prevent his accuser from testifying.

That decision Monday was part of a slew of rulings that could end up shaping Greitens’ trial. He’s accused of taking a semi-nude photo of a woman he with whom he had an affair without her consent — and placing it in a position where it could be electronically transmitted. And it also came as St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s office conceded again they did not have the photo in their possession.

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