Attorneys for Gov. Eric Greitens say the publisher of a political newspaper sent a large cash payment to a lawyer representing the ex-husband of Greitens’ mistress.
KMOV-TV reports Maria Jeffrey, an attorney for Greitens said Missouri Times publisher Scott Faughn sent one of two $50,000 payments to the law firm of Al Watkins.
In a statement, Jeffrey referred to Faughn as, “a member of the media who has extensive ties to the Governor’s political opponents.” The Missouri Times covers the state legislature in Jefferson City.
KMOV reports that according to Watkins’ testimony, a second $50,000 payment was delivered to him by a courier he only knew as Skylar. Watkins originally claimed he did not know the source of the payments and said he reported them to the FBI.
Faughn responded to claims he paid Watkins $50,000 through Twitter and Periscope yesterday evening, saying he retained Watkins as an attorney for a book he is writing about Greitens. (Faughn’s response linked below contains vulgar language.)
Twmp live https://t.co/hDO14VNMfb
— Scott Faughn (@scottfaughn) April 30, 2018
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that after identifying Faughn in court as the source of the payment, Greitens defense attorney Jim Martin put forth that Faughn has political ties to a group “upset that their tax credits were taken away”. “If he doesn’t have any clue what the source of those funds, that’s not credible,” the Post-Dispatch quoted Martin as saying in court.
A Missouri special House committee investigating Greitens is reportedly going to issue a subpoena for Faughn to appear before it.
The committee is looking into Greitens’ 2015 relationship with the mistress that has led to a felony invasion of privacy charge against him.
The ex-husband released a secret recording in January of a 2015 conversation he had with his then-estranged wife in which she detailed her conflicted relationship with Greitens.
In it, she describes Greitens taking a photo of her while she’s blindfolded in a state of partial nudity and then threatening to distribute the photo if she mentions their encounter. Greitens is accused of transmitting the nonconsensual image.
In his social media video Monday, Faughn said he’s never spoken with the ex-husband. He said he obtained recordings from Watkins but never published them or turned them over to anybody. Faughn said he’s “too greedy” to give the story to another media outlet.
The House committee released an addendum Monday to its report issued earlier this month detailing its findings from testimony before it. In the addendum, the committee refutes claims by Greitens’ defense team that a video interview taken by the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office “undermined the narrative” and “directly contradicted allegations in the House report.”
The committee will also release a report this week about another felony charge against Greitens. He’s accused of computer tampering for allegedly obtaining a donor list without permission from his former charity and then using it for campaign purposes.