According to the accused, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, he is the victim of a “reckless politically motivated prosecutor.” But, regardless of how he feels about it, Greitens is still under indictment for a felony charge of invasion of privacy.
The charge stems from allegations Greitens snapped a photo of a woman with which he was having an affair, then threatened to publish the photo publicly if she ever spoke about their affair. The photo in question was taken while the woman was bound and blindfolded.
When these allegations were made public, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner opened a criminal investigation. The felony indictment is a result of that investigation, and it accuses Greitens of both knowingly photographing a nude woman without her consent, but also sending the image in a way that could be accessed by computer. Greitens was subsequently arrested and booked on the charge.
After the arrest, Gardner released this statement: “As I have stated before, it is essential for residents of the City of St. Louis and our state to have confidence in their leaders… They must know that the Office of the Circuit Attorney will hold public officials accountable in the same manner as any other resident of our city. Both parties and the people of St. Louis deserve a thorough investigation of these allegations.”
Greitens has maintained that the nature and timing of the scandal were politically motivated, as the allegations hit the news soon after Greitens delivered his annual State of the State address. Turns out, though, the report and subsequent allegations and incitement were really just motivated by old-fashioned relationship anger. The ex-husband of the woman with which Greitens was having an affair gave a St. Louis TV station an audio recording of the woman confessing the affair and accusing Greitens of threatening her with blackmail.
Those actions, too, seem to have been released to the media also without the woman’s consent. With one station reporting on the story, others took it up as well, and soon legal action was inevitable.
In preparation for the indictment, Greitens began building a high-powered legal team including the law firm of Dowd Bennett, as well as a former circuit judge, and a statehouse lobbyist. This team will work on both Greitens’ defense as well as his public message to the people of St. Louis. Right now, it’s not looking great for the governor, but many politicians have managed to make it out of worse and keep their careers intact.
But outside forces may not allow that result. Some Missouri Republicans are saying, publicly, that Greitens needs to resign, now. Greitens has refused to resign, so it’s possible he will be impeached. At this point, anything is possible.