Published: Sat, April 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Time running out for potential case against Gov. Greitens' charity

Time running out for potential case against Gov. Greitens' charity

On Friday, Greitens released a statement saying he stands by his work with the charity. Hawley says Greitens took a donor list from The Mission Continues and used it to help raise money during his run for governor without the permission of the charity.

The charge adds to the embattled first-term governor's problems.

That charge is for invasion of privacy for allegedly taking a partially or fully nude photo and "subsequently transmitted the image contained in the photograph in a manner that allowed access to that image via a computer".

Greitens has faced increasing pressure to resign.

Eric Greitens was indicted Friday on a felony computer tampering charge for using a charity donor list for his 2016 political campaign.

In a press conference held at his office, Hawley said the infraction is related to Greitens' nonprofit, The Mission Continues, and that he has turned evidence over to the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office.

Several political leaders, including fellow Republicans, have urged Greitens to resign. She testified that Greitens restrained, slapped, grabbed, shoved and threatened her during a series of sexual encounters that at times left her crying and afraid.

Greitens has denied committing any crimes and earlier this week vowed to remain in office, calling the investigations into him a "political witch hunt".

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"St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner reviewed the evidence turned over to her by my office and determined that there is probable cause to file criminal charges against the Governor", Hawley said in a statement.

Gov. Greitens posted a new statement Friday evening on his facebook page, saying in part, "Two months ago, a prosecutor brought a case against me". This prosecutor can come after me with everything she's got, but as all faithful people know: in time comes the truth.

An investigation into the former Navy SEAL officer's charity began when Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley's office learned that a Greitens employee who previously worked at the charity had shared the donor list in January 2015 with Michael Hafner (he had worked for Greitens' gubernatorial exploratory committee), and Danny Laub, Greitens' first campaign manager. It doesn't identify the fundraiser.

Greitens' attorneys had made a motion to get those charges dismissed but a judge ruled on Thursday that case can proceed. Greitens was allegedly aware that K.T. retained or used the list with out the permission of the charity and Greitens directed send the donor list in an April 22, 2015, email to the fundraiser.

State Republicans are anxious that the longer Greitens spends defending himself over Twitter and with his lawyers, the more it will divide their party and dishearten Republican voters, ruining the party's chances in the November midterms.

"Prosecutors found probable cause to believe that Governor Greitens violated Missouri State Statute 569.095 that was in place at the time of the incident", the office said in the release. "I think it's incumbent upon us in the house that we move as swiftly as possible with the impeachment process for the sake of the state".

Greitens called the accusations "ridiculous" when they were outlined earlier this week by Hawley.

He already paid a fine to the state Ethics Commission because he failed to initially report the list as a campaign contribution.

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