Attorneys seeking information from Confide headquarters
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Attorneys suing Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and his top staff over the use of the message-deleting app Confide have subpoenaed the company’s headquarters, seeking information tied to 15 phones numbers.
St. Louis County attorney Mark Pedroli, on behalf of the Sunshine Project, said his ultimate objective in issuing the subpoena Friday to the New York-based company is to retrieve at least some of the communications Greitens and his staff made using the app, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported .
The subpoena seeks information from Greitens’ phone number, username “Er Robert,” Greitens’ personal email, and any information connected to governor.mo.gov. Other numbers mentioned include Greitens’ deputy chief of staff Nicholas Maddux, spokesman Parker Briden and former deputy chief of staff Caleb Jones.
The app automatically deletes messages after they are read and prevents recipients from saving, forwarding, printing or taking screenshots of messages.
Among other information, the subpoena seeks names, methods of payment, account history, IP history logs, documents, communications, digital files, metadata, profile information, and dates of account creation and deletion.
A lawsuit filed in December contends the use of the app violates the state’s open records laws. Greitens’ attorneys have argued messages sent using the app didn’t discuss substantial public business and mostly concerned logistics and scheduling.
Pedroli said if the communications truly were not substantial government business, it would be in Greitens’ best interest to “clear up, once and for all, the nature of the messages.”
“The office of governor should want to, if they can, get these messages back,” he added.
Jon Brod, co-founder and president of Confide, said in an email Monday that the company was not aware of the subpoena being served. He also said the company’s policy is to not comment on pending litigation.
The subpoena was issued the same day Thompson argued in Cole County Court that the lawsuit should be dismissed. He said the governor’s office had complied with earlier requests for the phone records to the extent it could. He said providing cellphone numbers of staff who downloaded the app raised safety concerns and the nature of the Confide app means no record of messages exists.
Judge Jon Beetem did not indicate when he would rule on the motion to dismiss.
Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com