Missouri governor’s lawyer asks panel to delay probe report
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ personal attorney is asking a state House committee investigating Greitens’ actions during an extramarital affair to delay the release of its findings, saying an ongoing criminal investigation is likely to uncover information that will make the report inaccurate.
In a letter sent Friday to Republican Rep. Jay Barnes, chairman of the House investigatory committee, attorney Edward Dowd detailed what he said were several problems with the criminal investigation being conducted in St. Louis into allegations that the governor took a photo of a partially nude woman with whom he had an affair in 2015 without her consent.
The House committee is expected to release its finding in the coming week.
“We believe that your report will almost certainly contain information that will — in the course of the coming days and weeks — be publicly proven to be incorrect,” Dowd wrote.
Dowd said a court motion filed by Democratic Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, who is leading the criminal investigation, prevents Greitens’ attorneys from sharing information with the House committee.
Barnes declined to comment on the letter Saturday.
A St. Louis grand jury indicted Greitens in February on a felony invasion-of-privacy charge over the photo allegations. Greitens has acknowledged having the affair before he ran for governor but has denied any criminal wrongdoing.
Dowd said Greitens’ legal team is confident that if the House had time to look “at the full spectrum of facts” it would conclude “that this is a sham prosecution, and when it is subjected to the rigors of a criminal trial where testimony is subject to cross-examination, the Governor will be found innocent.”
The woman involved in the affair was deposed by Greitens’ legal team on Friday and her ex-husband is scheduled to meet with them on Monday. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported the woman was questioned for more than eight hours Friday. She has repeatedly declined interview requests from the media.
Dowd said the legal team believed the depositions would reveal inconsistencies and falsehoods in the information given to the grand jury and the media.
Dowd also warned Barnes that the lawmakers’ investigation establishes a troubling legal precedent that would subject any elected official to investigation by other elected officials “at any time, for any conduct — including private matters that took place years before they took office — on the basis of accusations promoted by the media, and they will then be subjected to an inquiry that has no standards of evidence and results in publication of materials that are deliberately one-sided.”