More trouble for MO gov Eric Greitens: the Missouri AG says his office has evidence that Greitens committed computer tampering related to his charity, using a charity donor list for political fundraising.— Julie Bosman (@juliebosman) April 17, 2018
Missouri Governor Eric Greitens has refused to resign amid accusations of sexual misconduct and blackmail despite collective calls from fellow Republicans.
Missouri Republicans from House and Senate released statements, asking Greitens to quit after troubling allegations surfaced about the GOP governor.
Greitens responded with a tweet that he would not.
“I will not be resigning the Governor's office. In three weeks, this matter will go to a court of law—where it belongs and where the facts will prove my innocence,” he said in a tweet.
I will not be resigning the Governor's office. In three weeks, this matter will go to a court of law—where it belongs and where the facts will prove my innocence. Until then, I will do what the people of Missouri sent me here to do: to serve them and work hard on their behalf.— Eric Greitens (@EricGreitens) April 18, 2018
In the recent past, the governor’s office has been in turmoil due to the unearthing of disturbing allegations related to sexual misconduct and other legal issues.
On April 10, various news outlets reported the state House investigative report held the testimony of a stylist credible, who accused Greitens of sexual harassment. Greitens had an extra-marital affair with the un-named woman in 2015.
The woman also testified that her sexual encounters with the Missouri governor were not always consensual. The Missouri House special investigative committee’s report also showed the woman accused Greitens of slapping her on at least one occasion.
The governor was indicted in February on charges of first-degree felony invasion of privacy after the same woman alleged Greitens took partially or completely nude photos of her without consent and later used those photos to blackmail her if she dared make the affair public.
Greitens’ trail date is set for May.
Greitens agreed to the extra-marital affair, calling it a “personal mistake” but denied that he used any pictures for blackmail. However, the Missouri governor’s woes do not end there.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has reported that Lucinda Luetkemeyer, an attorney who works in the governor’s office, called attorney Albert Watkins, the attorney representing the Greitens’ mistresses’ ex-husband, asking him about the allegations just hours before the news broke about Greitens’ affair. Luetkemeyer asked about Watkins’ client and whether he was talking to the media or not.
“I found it chillingly disturbing that she would make that call as a state-paid employee,” Watkins explained.
If a state-paid lawyer made the call on behalf of Greitens, investigation should commence on whether taxpayers’ money is being invested in the Missouri governor’s defense.
That’s not all, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced the governor may be involved in another crime, claiming his office has found evidence that Greitens used a donors list form a veteran charity he founded to seek donations for his 2016 governor campaign.
“After thoughtful consideration of the findings in the House committee’s report and today’s news that the Attorney General has evidence to support another felony charge, we believe the governor needs to take responsibility for his actions. The time has come for the governor to resign,” a statement from Republican House Speaker Todd Richardson and other Missouri House representatives stated.
Sexual harassment accusations against Republican and Democratic leaders are nothing new.
In 2017, Democrat Senator Al Franken stepped down after he was accused by several women of inappropriate sexual advances.
He later resigned but not before pointing out the irony of how several high-profile Republicans have been accused of similar allegations yet remain at office.
“I, of all people, am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office," Franken said. "But this decision is not about me.”
Regardless of party affiliations, sexual misdemeanor and misconduct allegations must be treated without any disparity to curb the growing culture of sexual allegations associated to people in power.
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: St. Louis Metropolitan Police Dept. /Handout via REUTERS