Analysis: This week’s dramatic shift in the Greitens case
On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the surprising turn of events that made headlines late Monday afternoon in the continuing legal saga surrounding Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.
As St. Louis Public Radio reported Monday, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner dropped the felony invasion of privacy charge against Greitens after the prosecutor was herself endorsed as a witness in the case. The news came with jury selection for the trial already well underway.
Michael Wolff, former Missouri Supreme Court chief justice and former dean of the Saint Louis University School of Law, joined Tuesday’s discussion, as did STLPR reporters Rachel Lippmann and Jason Rosenbaum.
“In retrospect I’m not surprised,” Wolff said of Monday’s events. “The prosecution did not have evidence that there was a photo that was transmitted to a computer or to another person. That’s one of the essential elements of the crime.
“So if they had started the trial and the prosecutor had made the opening statement, saying to the jury, ‘This is what we’re going to prove,’ the prosecutor didn’t have any evidence as to that particular thing. So what are you going to do in that situation? At this point you better get out.”
Rosenbaum added “the official reason [given for dropping the charges] actually makes a lot of sense.”
“William Tisaby, who was the investigator that Gardner hired to investigate the case, allegedly made false statements during a deposition,” he said. “When Judge [Rex] Burlison required some of the witnesses to do redo depositions, [Tisaby] invoked the Fifth Amendment … and that presented the defense with a really intractable problem.
“They have the right to question the investigation of how this came to be, and if the investigator is taking the Fifth, then the only other option that they really have is to talk to the other person who was in that room, who was Kim Gardner.”
Lippmann noted that “the idea of Gardner being called as a witness isn’t coming out of left field.”
“The defense can’t get to some of those issues of credibility [without that],” she explained.
St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary Edwards, Alex Heuer, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.