Governor charged with second felony in St. Louis

21 April, 2018, 13:50 | Author: Jason Torres
  • Gubernatorial candidate Eric Greitens looks at his ballot before sitting down to vote at the St. Louis Public Library in the Central West End on Election Day 2016

"Like all criminal defendants, Governor Greitens is presumed innocent under the law until proven guilty", he said.

Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has charged Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens relating to illegally taking a fundraising list from a veterans charity he co-founded.

In a press conference held at his office, Hawley said the infraction is related to Greitens' nonprofit, The Mission Continues, and that he has turned evidence over to the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office.

"These are serious charges-and an important reminder that no one is above the law in Missouri", Hawley said in the statement. The woman, with whom he'd had an affair, alleges that he threatened to release the photo if she disclosed the relationship.

Greitens raised almost $2 million for his gubernatorial run after he obtained a list of top donors to The Mission Continues without permission from the St. Louis-based charity he founded in 2007.

According to the court document, the president of the charity told an investigator Greitens and the person who got the list did not have permission to use the list for political purposes.

When first confronted by the Associated Press in October 2016 with evidence that his campaign had used the charity's donor list to raise money, Greitens flatly denied it.

"St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner reviewed the evidence turned over to her by my office and determined that there is probable cause to file criminal charges against the Governor".

"This prosecutor can come after me with everything she's got, but as all faithful people know: in time comes the truth".

Her original case is falling apart-so today, she's brought a new one.

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Eric Greitens says a second felony charge filed against him is another effort by St. Louis' top prosecutor to "smear" his name.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley revealed earlier this week that an investigation concluded the governor may have committed felony tampering with computer data. "Give me a break", Dowd said in a statement. Officials with Gardner's office said they were already investigating The Mission Continues case even before the invasion of privacy issue came up.

The charity Hawley referred to is The Mission Continues of St. Louis, which provides opportunities for veterans to continue lives of service.

House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty cited the new charge as additional grounds for lawmakers to try to quickly remove Greitens from office.

The governor's trial in an existing felony invasion of privacy case, also in St. Louis, is set to start May 14.

Democrats have criticized Hawley's earlier investigation that found no wrongdoing in Greitens' use of a text message-destroying app, and claimed he stepped up his investigation of the charity only after it became politically beneficial.

Greitens' attorney, Ed Dowd, called the charge absurd. Instead, her investigator lied under oath and created false evidence. Not only did he create this list donor by donor, friend by friend, but the Mission Continues still has the list.

Gardner's office began investigating after KMOV-TV in St. Louis first reported on the affair on January 10, the day Greitens was giving his annual State of the State speech.

"Prosecutors found probable cause to believe that Governor Greitens violated Missouri State Statute 569.095 that was in place at the time of the incident", the office said in the release.

"This office will not be intimidated, and we will not be deterred", he said.

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