EXPLAINER: What’s the background of Senate hopeful Greitens? Rhodes Democratic Republican FBI Missouri

EXPLAINER: What’s the background of Senate hopeful Greitens? Rhodes Democratic Republican FBI Missouri


EXPLAINER: What’s the background of Senate hopeful Greitens? Rhodes Democratic Republican FBI Missouri

EXPLAINER: What’s the background of Senate hopeful Greitens? Rhodes Democratic Republican FBI Missouri

Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens who resigned in June 2018 amid a sex scandal, criminal charges and ethics investigations, announced Monday that he will seek the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2022. Here is an explanation of some of the legal and ethical trouble Greitens, now 46, encountered while serving as governor.

Greitens was a political novice when he defeated a well-funded businessman and two political veterans to win the 2016 GOP nomination for governor. His appeal went beyond that of a political outsider: He was a former Navy SEAL officer, a Rhodes scholar, a successful author and founder of The Mission Continues, a charity that helps veterans adjusting to civilian life. He defeated Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster in the November 2016 general election. A year into office, he was popular enough among Republicans that he was being mentioned as a future presidential candidate.

WHEN DID HIS TROUBLES BEGIN?

On Jan. 10, 2018, soon after Greitens concluded his state of the state speech, St. Louis TV station KMOV aired a report that the married father of two had had an affair in 2015 with his St. Louis hairdresser. The TV report featured a conversation secretly recorded by the woman’s then-husband in which she described to him some of her interactions with Greitens. In it, she says Greitens took a photo of her while she was partially nude and threatened to release it if she exposed their relationship. Greitens issued a statement admitting to the affair but calling it consensual and denying blackmail.

HOW DID THE AFFAIR BECOME A CRIMINAL MATTER?

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, a Democrat, launched an investigation immediately after the media report. The investigation resulted in a St. Louis grand jury indicting Greitens on a felony invasion of privacy charge on Feb. 22, 2018.

WHY WAS THAT CRIMINAL CHARGE DROPPED?

Jury selection began in May 2018. But three days later, a judge ordered Gardner to provide a statement under oath at the request of Greitens’ attorneys. They had accused Gardner of allowing a private investigator she hired to commit perjury and withhold evidence. Gardner said she had no choice but to drop the charge because Missouri’s rules of professional conduct prohibit attorneys from litigating a case in which they’ve been called as a witness.


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