sunny.png
Saturday August 24th, 2019 9:32AM

Greitens' political future faces test in legislative report

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The political future of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens faces a big test Wednesday when a special legislative committee issues an investigative report related to an extramarital affair the Republican engaged in before his election.

The report, along with the governor's upcoming trial on a felony indictment related to the affair and an investigation by fellow Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley into the activities of a veterans charity Greitens founded, have created challenges and uncertainty for the former Navy SEAL officer once considered presidential material. He went so far as to reserve the web address ericgreitensforpresident.com years ago.

Greitens' spokesman, Parker Briden, told The Associated Press by email that the governor's administration has been "operating as normal."

But Republican consultant John Hancock said the "constant retelling of the underlying facts of the affair has had a debilitating effect on the governor, as it would any elected official."

The allegations are to be publicly aired again, perhaps with their greatest detail yet, when a special House investigatory committee releases a report Wednesday evening.

It was just hours after his State of the State speech in January that Greitens released a statement admitting to an affair that began and ended in 2015. The statement came after the ex-husband of Greitens' former hairdresser released to a St. Louis TV station audio that he secretly recorded of the woman discussing the affair with him.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner launched an investigation over an allegation that Greitens tried to blackmail the woman into silence by threatening to release a photo he allegedly took of her without her consent while she was blindfolded and partially nude in the basement of Gretiens' St. Louis home.

A grand jury in February indicted Greitens on one felony count of invasion of privacy for allegedly taking and transmitting the photo. The case goes to trial May 14.

Scott Simpson, an attorney for the woman, said this week that Greitens has told his client on multiple occasions that he photographed her without her consent and threatened to release the image if she told anyone about their relationship.

Greitens' supporters have called the criminal case a political witch hunt.

In March, a special House legislative committee launched its own investigation, a potential precursor to impeachment proceedings. Greitens' lawyers have repeatedly asked to delay the report, publicizing a series of critical letters and court documents to reporters as the expected release date approached in an effort to portray it as inaccurate and potentially damaging to the governor's right to a fair trial.

Separately, Hawley is investigating The Mission Continues, the veterans charity founded by Greitens, as it relates to the state's consumer protection and charitable registration and reporting laws. That probe came after media reports that Greitens' campaign obtained and used the charity's donor list in 2015 as he began raising money for his gubernatorial bid.

With so much swirling around Greitens personally, Republican legislative leaders have issued assurances that they will continue with business as usual despite potential turmoil in the governor's office.

"No matter how things go, we'll have a very good steady leadership in both chambers," Senate Majority Leader Mike Kehoe said last week.

While Briden said the governor continues to work with lawmakers to pass his agenda, Greitens has played a less antagonistic role in the Legislature this year.

During his first year in office, Greitens issued personal attacks against state senators who went against his will on policy, called the Legislature back for two special sessions, angered senators for his role in stacking numerous boards and commissions with his appointees and, at one point, compared lawmakers to third-graders.

Greitens' swaggering public persona has changed since the scandal broke, University of Missouri-St. Louis political scientist Dave Robertson said.

"The aggressiveness has been tempered substantially and he's gone from playing offense to playing defense," Robertson said.

Still, Robertson said the already chilly relationship between Greitens and many of his Republican colleagues could haunt the governor.

"I would say that the obvious inability in the current climate, which is so highly polarized, to keep members of your party rallying behind you, particularly in the Legislature, is a very bad sign for someone who wants to govern effectively, create a record, and perhaps move on to another office," he said.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Trump seethes over FBI raid, ponders firing those he blames
Trump seethes over FBI raid, ponders firing those he blames: special counsel Mueller and Justice official Rosenstein
1:01AM ( 6 minutes ago )
Myanmar court refuses to dismiss charges against journalists
A Myanmar court has refused to dismiss a case against two Reuters journalists after the reporters' lawyers insisted last week that the evidence doesn't support the charges
1:00AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Greitens' political future faces test in legislative report
The political future of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens faces a big test when a special legislative committee issues an investigative report related to an extramarital affair the Republican had prior to his election
12:58AM ( 10 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Reddit says it banned 944 suspicious accounts
Discussion forum company Reddit issued its transparency report for 2017 during Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's Senate appearance
11:56PM ( 1 hour ago )
Spurs, Pelicans, Thunder all in; 1 spot left in West race
There's only one spot left in the NBA playoffs, and it'll go to either Minnesota or Denver
11:08PM ( 1 hour ago )
Trump axes trip amid discussions over Syria, raid on lawyer
President Donald Trump is driving his West Wing into deeper tumult as federal agents dig into his personal affairs
10:56PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Hardly 'friends': Zuckerberg fends off senators on privacy
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg tells senators his company is "working with" Special Counsel Robert Mueller in his probe into Russian interference
10:18PM ( 2 hours ago )
Arizona teachers join others nationally seeking pay hikes
Arizona teachers who have organized to push for big raises and a restoration of school funding to pre-Great Recession levels are preparing to set a date for a statewide walkout
10:07PM ( 3 hours ago )
Gradual deployment of US troops to Mexico border underway
Some National Guard members have started arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border with more expected as federal government officials seek ways to curtail illegal immigration
10:06PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Oklahoma Republicans refuse to bow to teachers' demands
Oklahoma Republicans are refusing to give in to teachers' demands as a strike entered its seventh day
7:55PM ( 5 hours ago )
Bill Cosby lawyer attacks accuser as prosecutors build case
Bill Cosby's lawyer has launched a blistering attack on the comedian's accuser, portraying her as a con artist whose goal was "money, money and lots more money."
7:42PM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest: Zuckerberg says Facebook has seen no falloff
CEO Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook has not seen a falloff in usage in light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal
7:12PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Myanmar court refuses to dismiss charges against journalists
A Myanmar court has refused to dismiss a case against two Reuters journalists after the reporters' lawyers insisted last week that the evidence doesn't support the charges
1:00AM ( 8 minutes ago )
Asian shares meander following gains on upbeat trade talk
Asian shares mixed following gains driven by conciliatory remarks by China's president on trade issues
12:41AM ( 27 minutes ago )
AP sources: Raid on Trump lawyer about payments to women
AP sources: A raid by federal agents targeting President Donald Trump's personal attorney was focused on payments to two women who say they had affairs with Trump years before he launched his political career
12:19AM ( 49 minutes ago )
Jazz cruise to 119-79 win over Warriors
Jazz stretch winning streak to six with 119-79 win over Warriors
12:19AM ( 49 minutes ago )
CEO Zuckerberg apologizes for Facebook's privacy failures
Apologizing for Facebook failures in light of harvesting of users' private data, CEO Mark Zuckerberg says social media giant is "working with" special counsel Robert Mueller in federal probe of Russian election interference
12:18AM ( 49 minutes ago )