Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Last Call For Greitens Gets Gone, Con't

And the other shoe on the Greitens resignation story lands with a thud.  Yesterday I asked the obvious question:

It certainly seems like Greitens stepped down in order to drop the sexual assault charges, which is not exactly justice but the best you could hope for from a red state impeaching a Republican governor. Still, I have to wonder what becomes of the second batch of charges, mainly the campaign finance violations where Greitens allegedly used his veterans' charity as a donor list.

Today we got our answer, as those charges were dropped as well in exchange for Greitens's resignation.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens offered to resign as part of an agreement to dismiss a felony computer-tampering charge against him, according to the St. Louis prosecutor's office. 
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner announced Wednesday that she would dismiss the charge. The deal did not require Greitens to admit guilt. 
Gardner and Greitens' legal team started talking about a deal over the holiday weekend. A source close to the agreement told The Star that Greitens' legal team reached out to Gardner's office by telephone on Saturday to seek dismissal, raising the possibility of the governor's resignation as a bargaining chip. 
"Now it’s time for all of us to come together," Gardner said Wednesday. "It’s time to heal the wounds of our city and state and focus on building a place where people feel they are heard. Where victims, regardless of their station in life, know that we will do what is right regardless of the powers against them." 
The agreement settles a felony charge brought by Gardner based on evidence uncovered by the office of Missouri's Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley, who essentially accused Greitens of electronic theft for his use of a donor list belonging to a veterans charity he founded. 
Greitens committed "potentially criminal acts" by using the list without the charity's permission to raise money for his gubernatorial campaign, Hawley alleged at a press conference in April. Gardner responded by filing the computer-tampering charge a few days later. 
On Wednesday, Gardner disputed Greitens' past statements that she had been engaged in a politically motivated witch hunt against him. 
"There has been no witch hunt," Gardner said. "No plans to bring pain to him or his family. Quite the contrary. The consequences Mr. Greitens has suffered, he brought upon himself. By his actions. By his statements. By his decisions. By his ambition. And his pursuit for power."

But Greitens actually isn't off the hook yet.

Although the agreement between Gardner and Greitens resolves the tampering charge, a separate investigation will continue into allegations of wrongdoing by Greitens during his affair with his hairdresser in 2015. Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker is leading that probe. 
Gardner said Wednesday that she can’t comment on what Baker will do. "Ms. Baker has complete authority to do what she believes is the just thing to do based upon her evaluation of the case," Gardner said. 
Baker took over the investigation into Greitens' alleged misconduct after Gardner dropped a felony invasion-of-privacy charge against the governor. That charge stemmed from allegations that Greitens had photographed the woman while she was bound and partially nude in his basement. 
The woman later would testify to a bipartisan investigative committee of the Missouri House that Greitens also held her in a bear hug when she tried to leave the basement and coerced her into oral sex as she sobbed uncontrollably.

So he resigns to clear the campaign law violation charges that were a sure thing, and he figures he can fight the sexual assault charges in court.  We'll see what this holds in the future, but the Greitens saga is far, far from over.

Stay tuned.

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