- Members of a state House committee questioned Missouri Times newspaper publisher Scott Faughn several times today about the origin of $120,000 in cash. Faughn revealed to the panel that he gave three to four large cash payments equaling $120,000 to Al Watkins over the course of January and February.
Watkins is the attorney representing the man who first publicly revealed information about Governor Eric Greitens’ 2015 affair.
Committee chairman Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, immediately jumped into questioning today by trying to get to the bottom of the money trail. Faughn maintained the cash was his own money and said he would not disclose the inner workings of his business. Barnes fired back by saying no one believes the money was Faughn’s.
Barnes went on to question whether someone in the low-income housing industry, an out of state Republican donor or a Missouri Republican donor gave Faughn the money. Watkins has reportedly stated that Faughn came into possession of the money from a wealthy out of state Republican who wanted the Republican governor gone. Faughn repeatedly refused to answer where the money came from on the basis that his business is a private matter.
Faughn said he made the payments to Watkins to retain him as an attorney and in exchange for audio of the governor’s former mistress making sexual allegations against Greitens. He said the recording was going to be used in a book he’s compiling about Greitens.
Faughn said one of his roughly three employees in his St. Louis area office of Clayton delivered one of the $50,000 cash payments. He said he did not tell the worker what was in the package. Committee members questioned why Faughn would let someone else deliver such a large sum of cash. Faughn testified that he does not recall which worker he gave the money to.
Faughn, who has a regular presence in the Missouri Capitol, has been absent since Watkins outed Faughn in early May about delivering one of the cash payments to Watkins. The announcement led to the committee seeking to serve Faughn a subpoena.
During testimony today, Faughn said he was not aware there was an effort to subpoena him. Barnes reminded Faughn that it’s perjury to lie under oath and continued to question Faughn about subpoena efforts. Faughn said he had “no official knowledge” of a subpoena attempt and appeared voluntarily before the committee.
Eddie Greim, who represents the Governor’s Office, stood up at the end of the questioning phase and asked the committee to grant him permission to cross-examine Faughn during the hearing. Barnes denied that request and Greim’s other one to order Faughn to answer where the money came from.
After the hearing, Greitens attorney Ed Dowd told Missourinet he does not know when he’ll decide whether the governor will testify to the committee.
Greiten is facing several allegations about the nature of his affair. His alleged victim says Greitens took and transmitted a graphic photo of her without her permission and threatened to blackmail her with the image. Greitens has admitted to having the affair but denies any criminal allegations.
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