The Advocate

Greitens indicted with first degree felony

Eric Greitens waves with his wife, Sheena, after his inauguration as Missouri's 56th governor. After one year in office he faces felony charges for invasion of privacy.

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Eric Greitens waves with his wife, Sheena, after his inauguration as Missouri's 56th governor. After one year in office he faces felony charges for invasion of privacy.

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On Feb. 23, 2018, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens was indicted with the first degree felony of invasion of privacy.

According to the Missouri Court System, this is due to the blackmail and sexual misconduct allegations that arose in January. Greitens and his wife, Sheena, immediately issued the following statement confirming the rumors regarding an extramarital affair that occured in 2015.

“A few years ago, before Eric was elected Governor, there was a time when he was unfaithful in our marriage. This was a deeply personal mistake. Eric took responsibility, and we dealt with this together honestly and privately. While we never would have wished for this pain in our marriage, or the pain that this has caused others, with God’s mercy Sheena has forgiven and we have emerged stronger. We understand that there will be some people who cannot forgive—but for those who can find it in your heart, Eric asks for your forgiveness, and we are grateful for your love, your compassion, and your prayers.”

The indictment includes allegations that Greitens blackmailed the woman with whom he had an affair, his former hairdresser, by taking “full or partial” nude pictures without her consent. According to the Missouri Court System, Greitens shared these images “in a manner that allowed access to that image via a computer.” This violation of privacy has caused the state House and Senate to form an investigation of the governor. As stated below, members of the House and the Senate are preparing for their own investigation.

“We will carefully examine the facts contained in the indictment, and answer the question as to whether or not the governor can lead our state while a felony case moves forward,” Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson, Floor Leader Rob Vescovo and Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr stated. “The people of Missouri deserve no less. We will begin the process of tasking a group of legislators to investigate these serious charges.”

Greitens and one attorney, James Bennett, also released the following statement claiming that these allegations have less to do about Greitens and more concerning politics.

“We have been asked repeatedly by reputable news outlets why we believe this nearly three-year-old news story is coming out now. The latest reporting has finally disclosed that the reporting was being driven by a ‘source’ who is the former democratic state party chairman and who apparently has not spoken to the person in question. This goes a long way to explaining what is going on—this is a political hit piece.”

As Greitens awaits a trial date set for May 14, the prosecutors are searching for photographic evidence of these claims. The state has also formed a bipartisan committee to investigate the indictment and the possible impeachment of Greitens. This committee will include special investigators, councilman and reporters.

Al Walkins, the defense attorney for the man who accused Greitens, trusts that the system setup will take care of the state and rightfully decide if Greitens is guilty.

“Lady Justice can sometimes operate in cumbersome ways,” Watkins stated. “But right now we have an individual charged with a felony, and in our great land, one must presume innocence until guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s best to let the system take its course.”

With the question of impeachment, resignation or waiting out the trial looms above many Missourians. However, this felony charge is a first for the state. In the history of Missouri, there have been 10 impeachments but none in the governor’s office. If Greitens would be impeached, the process would be different than most states and what the state has dealt with previously.

According to Article 7 of the Missouri Constitution, impeachments are similar to other process in the sense that it starts in the House and then moves to the Senate. After this is differentiates.

In Section 2 of Article 7 of the Missouri Constitution, it states, “All impeachments shall be tried before the supreme court, except that the governor or a member of the supreme court shall be tried by a special commission.” In Greitens’ case, the special commission will consist of seven jurors who are elected by the Senate.

 

About the Writer
Olivia Robinson, Editor-in-Chief

Senior Olivia Robinson is the Editor-in-Chief of The Advocate. She has been a staff member since her sophomore year. Throughout her three years on staff,...

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Greitens indicted with first degree felony