The chairman of a special Missouri House committee investigating former Governor Eric Greitens says the panel has no authority to continue its probe.
Republican Representative Jay Barnes said Greitens was still likely guilty of multiple crimes that could be prosecuted in state or federal court and announced he was filing a complaint with the ethics commission.
Barnes said the complaint against Greitens’ campaign organization and A New Missouri, his nonprofit that’s classified as a group that doesn’t have to identify donors, should be ready next week. In his letter, he offered to have other members of the committee join his complaint.
He stated that the committee had uncovered evidence showing good cause to believe Greitens engaged in crimes, misconduct, and acts of moral turpitude warranting the filing of articles of impeachment over allegations of sexual assault and domestic violence.
The allegations stem from a felony invasion of privacy case in St. Louis that was dropped after procedural missteps by the prosecution. Greitens was accused of taking a non-consensual photo of a woman in a state of undress in 2015 and then threatening to distribute it if she mentioned his name.
Barnes said Greitens’ misconduct and moral turpitude extended into his time in the governor’s office when he publicly claimed the woman testified that she might have remembered the encounter with him in a dream and said a video of a conversation she had with prosecutors was “exonerating” for him.
He said the Committee also possessed sufficient documentary evidence to establish that Greitens and his campaign had misappropriated property of The Mission Continues, his former charity, and then lied about it on a report submitted to the Ethics Commission.
Barnes contends in the letter that Greitens faced a near-certain criminal conviction in the now-dismissed felony case on tampering with computer evidence that was connected to his acquisition of a donor list from the charity.
The correspondence further contends Greitens could have engaged in criminal fraud relating to grants, illegally used grant money for political purposes and may have committed literary fraud with his best-selling book, “Resilience”.
In the letter, Barnes suggested the original manuscript for the book was likely written by one of Greitens’ assistants and was later framed by him as inspired by letters between himself and a fellow Navy SEAL suffering from PTSD. (Greitens was a Navy SEAL)
Barnes also said the committee received more than 30,000 pages from the Greitens for Missouri campaign showing significant evidence of illegal activity.
He said the documents tended to show that those in charge of the Greitens’ campaign had a scheme to hide donor identities and attempted to funnel donors to the nonprofit, A New Missouri, that doesn’t have to report their identities.
Barnes identified three offices of state government with jurisdiction to investigate A New Missouri: the Attorney General, the Cole County Prosecuting Attorney, and the Missouri Ethics Commission.
His letter notes the committee did not have the time or resources to fully investigate other activities that have been called into question.
Among them are the use of secret text messaging applications for official business by Greitens and his staff and accusations that a senior member of the transition team attempted to (and may have) profited from her role on the transition.
Read the full letter by clicking here.