Cristina M. Fletes St. Louis Post-Dispatch TNS via Getty Images
21 April, 2018, 13:48
The Missouri governor said he stands by the work he's done with The Mission Continues and maintained that he will prove his innocence in court.
Gov. Eric Greitens has been charged with tampering with computer data from "The Mission Continues" investigation.
Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, who aided the St. Louis circuit attorney in the case by turning over evidence earlier this week, reacted in a statement Friday: "These are serious charges - and an important reminder that no one is above the law in Missouri".
Gardner's office also is prosecuting Greitens for invasion of privacy over allegations that he took a nude photo of a woman with whom he was having an affair in 2015 and threatened to release it if she revealed the relationship.
At a press conference earlier this week, Hawley claimed that Greitens, a former Navy SEAL, illegally took a list of top donors to his military veterans charity, The Mission Continues, transferred the names and contacts to his political campaign, and used them to raise almost $2 million for his gubernatorial race.
In October 2016, an Associated Press investigation found an 85 percent correlation between names on the charity's donor list and $525,000 in early donations to Greitens' gubernatorial campaign.
The new charge accuses Greitens of obtaining the donor list from The Mission Continues without permission from the St. Louis-based charity that Greitens founded.
Greitens started The Mission Continues in 2007 but left it in 2014, before he ran for governor.
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens speaks at a news conference about allegations related to his extramarital affair with his hairdresser, in Jefferson City, Mo. on April 11, 2018.
He also said the information his office has uncovered will be turned over to a House committee investigating Greitens.
Greitens bluntly rejected the new count against him, suggesting that the prosecutor was scrambling to shore up her case.
Hawley's official spokeswoman, Mary Compton, called Greitens' request "frivolous" and said the attorney general's office would argue against the motion. "Give me a break", Dowd said in a statement.
Gardner's office declined comment on the new charges.
The governor later filed requests for a restraining order against Hawley and a special prosecutor in The Mission Continues case.
This allegation is not almost as scandalous as taking a photograph of a semi-nude woman against her will, a charge for which Greitens faces trial in St. Louis. By now, everyone knows what this is: this prosecutor will use any charge she can to smear me.
Greitens admits to the affair, but denies the rest, Talking Points Memo reported.
Jim Martin, Greitens' attorney, said in a later statement, "We've done a thorough review of this matter, and we know that there's no wrongdoing here".
On Friday, he accused Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, a Democrat, of wasting "thousands and thousands of taxpayer dollars". "Not only did he create this list donor, by donor, friend by friend, but (the charity) 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.
Eric Greitens ran for governor of Missouri as a conservative outsider promising to shake things up in the Show Me State. Instead, her investigator lied under oath and created false evidence. "The only person who doesn't understand that is Eric Greitens", Beatty said.
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