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Government, Politics & Issues
Gov. Eric Greitens announced in late May that he would resign after facing months of political and legal scandals.The saga started in January, when KMOV released a recording of a woman saying Greitens took a compromising photo of her during a sexual encounter and threatened to blackmail her.A St. Louis grand jury indicted Greitens in February on felony invasion of privacy. The woman testified to lawmakers that Greitens sexually and physically abused her, spurring bipartisan calls for his resignation or impeachment.The invasion of privacy charge was eventually dropped by St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office following a series of prosecutorial missteps before the trial began. Greitens was also accused of illegally obtaining a donor list from the veterans non-profit he co-founded with his political campaign, but that charge, too, was dismissed as part a deal that led to his resignation as governor.

Missouri House committee sues to get documents in Greitens investigation

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
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A Missouri House committee has sued to get documents from two political groups connected to Gov. Eric Greitens.

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.”

The committee issued subpoenas two weeks ago to Greitens for Missouri and A New Missouri, a 501(c)(4) established to “advocate for and promote the governor’s agenda,” and “make sure Missourians know what the governor is doing and what he’s trying to get passed.” Members are investigating whether Greitens used the groups to conceal donors in violation of Missouri’s campaign finance laws, and announced in an open meeting on Tuesday they had found evidence Greitens may have used shell companies for that purpose.

The suit filed Thursday says neither the campaign committee nor A New Missouri had turned over the selected documents. Members made it clear Monday they believed the governor was stonewalling them.

Catherine Hanaway, an attorney representing the two groups, disputed that characterization in a statement released Thursday.

“We can’t wait to stand in front of a judge and explain that in just seven days we produced more than 14,000 responsive documents, we are producing almost 6,000 documents today and the House still isn’t satisfied,” she said. “We can’t wait to have a judge determine whether the House committee has the legal authority to go on a wild fishing expedition.”

But early Thursday evening, Hanaway's law firm delivered 32,815 more documents to the House committee.

Boxes containing thousands of documents from groups connected to Gov. Eric Greitens were delivered Thursday night to the House committee investigating him. 5/17/18
Credit Erin Achenbach | St. Louis Public Radio
Boxes containing thousands of documents from groups connected to Gov. Eric Greitens were delivered Thursday night to the House committee investigating him.

The General Assembly is set to go into special session Friday evening to eventually consider whether the governor should be impeached, or face other discipline.

In an appearance at the governor’s residence on Thursday, Greitens blamed advocates of low-income housing tax credits for some of his legal and political woes. He suspended the program in December.

Marshall Griffin contributed to this report.

Follow Rachel on Twitter: @rlippmann

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