The Missouri House has unanimously chosen to open an investigation into a felony charge against Republican Governor Eric Greitens. Jefferson City Republican State Rep. Jay Barnes, who will chair the special investigative committee, says public hearings will be closed while witnesses are testifying. He points to trial testimony being done in a similar manner to try and get accurate information.
The special committee, made up of five Republicans and two Democrats, hopes to wrap up its investigation in 40 days and will submit its recommendations to the full House.
A St. Louis grand jury indictment against the governor stems from Greitens allegedly taking a photo of his unclothed mistress without her permission and transferring the image in 2015. Greitens was preparing a run for governor during that time.
St. Louis television station KTVI reports prosecutors have admitted in court that they don’t have the photo in which the woman is described to have been undressed, blindfolded and bound. According to the TV station, prosecutors for St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said they “plan to get that picture” after defense attorney Jim Bennett told a judge he’d just learned that “the photo doesn’t exist”.
The governor has pleaded not guilty to a felony invasion of privacy charge and calls St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner “a reckless liberal prosecutor who uses her office to score political points”.
A May 14 trial date has been set for Greitens’ court case. Lawmakers expect to wrap up their work prior to the trial.