Both sides in a special House committee hearing on an investigation of Governor Eric Greitens revealed yesterday they had contact with the FBI.
Republican Representative Jay Barnes, who chairs the committee, said he’d contacted federal law enforcement after hearing closed testimony from an early Greitens campaign advisor, Michael Hafner, who alleged Greitens had concealed money and received foreign donations.
Barnes said he’d contacted the FBI several weeks after hearing about the suspected foreign donations, which are illegal. Barnes made the comment while noting the FBI then questioned him about a $100,000 payment made to attorney Al Watkins from newspaper publisher Scott Faughn.
Barnes’ committee was grilling Watkins Thursday about the $100,000 payment.
Watkins said during the hearing that he’d initially informed the FBI in early 2017 about the payment because it was in cash and he suspected it may have come from illegal activity, such as drug money. Watkins said he took a photo of a $50,000 cash delivery from Faughn and sent it to a special agent.
Watkins also revealed during the hearing that he’d contacted the FBI in 2016 over Greitens’ encounter with a woman who has alleged that Greitens sexually coerced and tried to blackmail her.
The woman is central to the House investigation of Greitens. She was secretly recorded by her ex-husband describing a 2015 encounter with Greitens allegedly taking a nonconsensual, partially nude photo of her and threatening to distribute it if she mentioned his name.
The recording and Greitens affair with the woman became public the night of Greitens’ State of the State address in January. Greitens has since faced criminal charges on two fronts and the current House investigation into possible impeachment proceedings.
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