The Latest: White House concerned about Greitens allegations -


The Latest: White House concerned about Greitens allegations

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/Jeff Curry) (AP Photo/Jeff Curry)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV / AP) — The full report on the special committee's findings were released at 5 p.m. News 4 is providing regular updates on the findings here. Continue to refresh the page for the newest information.  Here is the latest  on the investigation into Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens:

5:15 p.m.

A spokeswoman for President Donald Trump says allegations against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens are “very concerning.”

During a briefing with reporters on Friday, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders was asked about a letter from three Republican Missouri state senators to Trump, urging the president to ask Greitens to resign. Trump and Greitens are both Republicans.

Several prominent Missouri lawmakers, Republicans and Democrats, have called on Greitens to step down over allegations that he coerced sex acts and slapped, grabbed and shoved a woman with whom he had an extramarital affair in 2015, before his election.

Greitens has said he’ll continue to serve and that allegations of violence or sexual assault are false.

Sanders said she didn’t have an official response but says the allegations are something the White House is taking very seriously.

7:30 p.m.

Missouri Republican Sen. Rob Schaaf has asked President Donald Trump to call on Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens to resign.

The longtime Greitens critic wrote in a letter dated Thursday that he doesn't think Greitens will resign, no matter who asks him to step down.

Several prominent Republican and Democratic elected officials in Missouri have called on Greitens to step down over allegations that he slapped, grabbed and shoved a woman with whom he had an extramarital affair in 2015, before his election. Greitens has said he'll continue to serve and that allegations of violence or sexual assault are false.

But Schaaf says that Greitens, a former Navy SEAL officer, might listen to the nation's commander in chief. Schaaf says that would save lawmakers the extra cost of a special legislative session to consider whether to impeach him.

The letter was also signed by Republican Sens. Doug Libla and Gary Romine. Both had previously called on the governor to consider resigning after Greitens was indicted in February on a felony invasion-of-privacy charge.

5:30 p.m.

Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner's office filed a response to Governor Greitens' defense team's call for the case's dismissal and accusations of perjury. In the memorandum, Gardner rebuffed the perjury accusations and said the tactic was meant to distract  from the case. 

"Defendant has excoriated the Circuit Attorney for belated disclosure of a video of the interview of the victim by Mr. Tisaby and of notes made by Mr. Tisaby during that interview. In the course of his motion argument, defendant accused the Circuit Attorney of suborning perjury. These attacks are unwarranted and appear to be an attempt to distract the Court’s and the public’s attention from the merits of this case. "

The statement lays out a timeline of events for the video, saying she was compelled to try again to view it after her investigator's credibility was questioned. 

"She took these steps in part because of the attacks on Mr. Tisaby’s 2 credibility raised by defendant. Although unable herself to view the video, she did not ignore the matter, but retrieved the camcorder that was used and arranged to have it examined by an IT professional in her office. She first learned that the video could be viewed on April 9, 2018. On April 10, after viewing the video in full for the first time, the Circuit Attorney realized that Mr. Tisaby’s deposition testimony was incorrect."

Also in the five page document is the assertion Gardner turned over the video of the accuser's interview as soon as she had the accompanying notes. 

4:00 p.m.

Governor Greitens released a statement Thursday afternoon blasting Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner for allegedly hiding evidence in the case until after the special committee's report was released. 

"We told people that they needed to see all the evidence. And now, we have proof that Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner and her team hid evidence from the people of Missouri and from the Missouri House of Representatives—evidence that undermined the narrative pushed in the House report.

Kim Gardner hid a video that she knew directly contradicted allegations in the House report, and she allowed her lead investigator to lie about it, under oath."

The video in question reportedly features Greitens' accuser saying she did not recall being slapped by him and making statements "inconsistent" with the report's assertion she was coerced into sexual activity. 

In the video, the woman talks for almost two hours, and never once mentions any coercion. In the House report, there is a false allegation that I slapped the woman. That allegation had been made once before, and it was disproven. The story changed, so I will say again: it did not happen. On this new video, she says that when this story broke in the media, she asked her two friends if they ever remembered her talking about a slap, and they both said “No.” 

Gardner previously had said the video had malfunctioned, but found it and turned it over to the defense team Wednesday. This prompted Greitens' team to again ask the judge to dismiss the case, accusing Gardner and her investigator of criminal perjury. 

Gardner spoke little Thursday, except to address the judge’s questions, indicating she had an operable videotape on Monday. She did not turn over the tape until Wednesday night. 

The Judge took a recess and heard further arguments in his chambers, and said a decision will be made at a later date. 

In Greitens' statement, he pointed out Gardner withheld the tape until the report was in the media. 

"This was evidence that the prosecutor was legally required to turn over months ago. She purposefully kept it hidden until one hour after the false report was released.

The House report contained explosive, hurtful allegations of coercion, violence, and assault. They are false. Those allegations can be refuted with facts. Despite the Circuit Attorney's attempts to keep it from the people of Missouri, we have video evidence that contains some of those facts."

3:30 p.m.

A major financial donor to Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is calling on him to resign following allegations of physical violence against a woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair.

Wealthy businessman David Humphreys in a Thursday statement said he's "deeply disappointed" by claims outlined in a House investigatory report related to the 2015 affair, which was before Greitens' election.

Humphreys is an executive at TAMKO Building Products in Joplin. Both he and his family were among top donors to Greitens' 2016 election campaign. Humphreys alone gave Greitens $1.275 million.

Humphreys' call for Greitens to step down signals the first public disavowal from a prominent top individual donor to Greitens' campaign.

Other top Republican and Democratic elected officials in the state have also asked Greitens to resign.

Greitens has said he'll continue to serve and that allegations of violence or sexual assault are false.

2:00 p.m.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner agrees that Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens should resign.

Republican Rauner said Thursday he is "deeply troubled" by a Missouri House committee's report of an allegation that Greitens coerced a woman into sex. He agrees with calls in Missouri that the Republican resign in "the best interest" of the state.

Greitens appeared in a Rauner re-election campaign ad last year. The ad was pulled in January after Greitens acknowledged he had been "unfaithful" in his marriage.

10:40 a.m.

The Missouri Senate majority leader has become the highest-ranking member of the state Legislature to call for Gov. Eric Greitens to resign.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Kehoe in a Thursday statement said allegations in a recent House report show Greitens has lost the "moral authority and the ability to lead." Kehoe and Greitens are both Republicans.

A House investigatory report released Wednesday includes testimony from a woman who said Greitens slapped, grabbed and shoved her during a 2015 extramarital affair they had before his election. She also said he threatened to distribute a partially nude photo of her if she spoke about their relationship.

A special House panel launched the investigation of Greitens shortly after he was indicted in February on a felony invasion-of-privacy charge related to the photo claim.

Greitens has said he'll continue to serve and that allegations of violence or sexual assault are false.

Thursday - 7:20 a.m.

Congresswoman Ann Wagner took to Twitter and stated she believes Gov. Greitens is "unfit to lead" Missouri:

9:47 p.m.

In a statement, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt said the allegations in the report are very concerning:

As I said previously, both the legislative and legal processes that are underway are appropriate and should continue moving forward.

8:54 p.m.

Gov. Eric Greitens released a statement denouncing allegations published in the House Committee's report.

This was an entirely consensual relationship, and any allegation of violence or sexual assault is false. This was a months-long consenting relationship between two adults.  The accusations published in the House Committee's report will be directly contradicted by the facts that emerge in court. In just 33 days, a court of law and a jury of my peers will let every person in Missouri know the truth and prove my innocence.  This was an unfortunate process, in which good people, including some on the committee, were left to try and do the right thing and sort through lies and falsehoods without access to the full facts. In the court of law, everyone will have the facts, and these allegations will be proven false.

8:00 p.m.

Missouri U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill and Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley have both released statements calling for Gov. Greitens to resign. 

Attorney General Josh Hawley's Statement:

The House Investigative Committee’s Report contains shocking, substantial, and corroborated evidence of wrongdoing by Governor Greitens. The conduct the Report details is certainly impeachable, in my judgment, and the House is well within its rights to proceed on that front. But the people of Missouri should not be put through that ordeal. Governor Greitens should resign immediately.

7:45 p.m.

During her hearing, the woman at the center of the scandal was asked who she had told about the affair with Gov. Greitens. She commented saying the only people she had told was a friend and another friend who was an attorney. Meanwhile, while the woman was on a vacation, her ex-husband sat down the woman's family and told them about the entire affair. 

The woman went on to say that she eventually told a group of her friends about the affair at a birthday dinner soon after the 2016 election: 

I was at a dinner with a group of, like, six girls -- one of them was turning 40, and all of the girls except for one are Republican and had voted for him (Greitens), and they were talking political stuff. I was staying silent. At this point, they were talking about all of these women who were complaining about Trump, they’re just babies-- I mean, all of these -- why did they care? And I don’t know, it just got to me.

I started crying. They said, what’s wrong? I said, guys, I had something happen that I’m actually sensitive to Trump’s comment about grabbing them-- grabbing them by the {expletive} whenever you have the power like that.

And they were like, what do you mean? And so I sat there at, like, a fancy restaurant with all of these women crying with them, telling them what had happened and -- you know, you guys do not ever tell anybody, please. And they all were like, why did you let us vote for him, you know? I said, because I don’t want anybody to know, please.

7:15 p.m. 

The investigation into Governor Greiten's alleged misconduct began after a recording of the accuser describing the incident surfaced. The recording was made surreptitiously by the woman's ex-husband, reportedly days after her encounter with Greitens. 

In the committee's report, the woman and her husband had separated just before the first sexual encounter with the then-gubernatorial candidate. 

However before she confessed to her husband, she said their relationship was tense and tinged with jealousy. He would go through her phone and computer often and would follow her when she went out in public. 

She recalled a conversation she had with Greitens about this when talking about a vacation she and her husband went on. 

I mentioned something about my husband not letting me go to the gym without him being with me-- and he didn't exercise.

They had this really cool gym, but going to the gym was a little annoying at times because my husband refused to let me go by myself. He would sit there, like, at the machine, the equipment next to me just to watch me and make sure nobody was watching me. That sort of thing.

Later, when the woman and Greitens began communicating by phone, she had to hide his number because her husband would see it. 

He (Greitens) doesn't know that I'm newly separated. He also doesn't know my husband is extremely controlling. He looks through everything of mine. My phone, my Facebook, my everything. He had access to and and he was obviously extremely paying attention to everything at this point.

The husband made the recording of the woman without her knowledge, and after she described the incident and the possibility of a photo being taken, he could be heard telling her she had been assaulted. 

When Witness 3 (her husband) said, 'You’ve been half-raped and blackmailed,' Witness 1 responded simply, 'Yes.'

However, the woman and Greitens continued to see each other, with several encounters over the next three months. Unbeknownst to her, her husband had recorded the conversation and was mulling exposing it.

After that day, he kept saying, 'I'm going to ruin this guy, I'm going to ruin this guy.'

After the couple officially divorced in October of 2015, the husband finally told her he had taped their conversation.

"Just wait, because your good reputation, your outstanding reputation is going to be ruined and so is Eric Greitens'. You guys are going down because I have proof of it.' And that was the first time he admitted he had proof, but I didn't see it; he just said it."  

The first time she heard the recording was when it was when it aired on News 4.

The woman also confirmed several times in her testimony that neither Greitens, nor anyone from his staff, offered her money in exchange for her silence.

6:00 p.m.

In a press conference following the report's release, Republican State Speaker of the House Todd Richardson refuted the claim the investigation was a witch hunt, saying the committee's actions were "not politically motivated." He said he stands by the committee's findings. 

Richardson went on to say no recommendations would be made to the general assembly regarding actions against for the governor before the end of this current session on May 18. 

The Democratic response was far more direct, with House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty saying the governor must resign immediately. 

"He was a disgrace, he was dishonorable and he needs to resign," she said. 

She also said she believes the report is enough for impeachment. 

5:45 p.m.

A special legislative committee that investigated Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says it's disappointed the governor declined to testify.

The committee released a report Wednesday on the investigation launched after Greitens was indicted by a grand jury in February on felony invasion of privacy stemming from a 2015 extramarital affair with his St. Louis hairdresser.

The woman testified that Greitens initiated unwanted sexual contact and slapped, grabbed and shoved her. She testified that during their first sexual encounter, Greitens threatened to distribute a partially nude photo taken without her permission if she spoke of the affair.

The report says Greitens stated through his attorneys he would be willing to testify after his criminal trial in St. Louis.

But Susan Ryan, a spokeswoman for St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, says there were no restrictions from the circuit court prohibiting Greitens from testifying before the House committee.

5:35 p.m.

The report lays out in detail how Greitens and his accuser met and began their relationship, with their first encounter coming in 2013. 

Greitens got his hair cut regularly at an establishment, and in March of 2013, got a haircut from the accuser. 

"Once he came to me, he became a regular client of mine. I saw him pretty regularly unless he was traveling."

"I knew that he was an author, I knew he was a motivational speaker, I knew he was a Navy SEAL. I knew he had volunteered at the Mother Theresa House…I don’t want to say that he was speaking highly of himself, but he found a way to tell me these things, and so I just thought he was wonderful"

According to the report, Greitens would bring signed books for the woman and would stop in after visits. She described their interactions as flirty, 

Greitens did not make any appointments from the fall of 2014 to March 2015, but returned on March 7 of 2015 for a haircut. At this point, the woman was aware he was running for governor as he had declared in February 

[W]hen I saw Eric was coming in that time, I was super nervous because he was one of – you know, really, my only client that I had somewhat of a crush on and thought he was this great guy, and so I just felt kind of nervous having him come in, and because I thought that maybe he didn’t come in to see me after that time because he felt bad flirting with me, because he was having a baby soon.

During that visit, Greitens reportedly hugged the woman and noticed she was shaking. He left and returned with food and a shake for her and the two sat and talked. From there, the encounter turned overtly flirtatious according to the woman. 

"Once we sat down and I was cutting his hair, it was really obvious that he was flirting with me, to me. 'You look incredible. 'You look better than you've ever looked. You're glowing today.'"

After she shampooed his hair, the woman said she was standing next to Greitens and he put his hand on her leg. As she talked he reportedly moved his hand up to her crotch. 

"I stepped back and was like, 'What are you doing?' and he just laid back and kid of looked up at me like, I don't know, and didn't say anything. 

Greitens reportedly returned later to drop off a book while she had a client. He then emailed her that night asking for a better way to contact her to book appointments. The woman had recently separated with her husband but did not want him to know, so she was cautious. 

"I was at least curious. I didn't want to talk to him, but I did want him to call me. So I said, 'Well, here is my cell number; however, the best way to reach me is to still go through the salon."

Greitens called and the two eventually met to talk in an alley behind a Starbucks.  The woman saved his number in her phone under a friend's name in case her husband saw a call from an unknown number. 

Greitens later invited her to his home while his wife was out of town, but the woman declined and instead asked to meet at a coffee shop. 

"He said, 'No I cannot meet you in public. I'm telling you- especially in the Central West End, people will be looking.  

Greitens eventually convinced her to come to his house, which she did the following morning at 7 a.m., entering through the back door. When she arrived, she said Greitens made a motion for her to stay silent, and went through her purse before patting her down "head to toe."

He then asked her if she wanted to work out, as a way to make her feel better.

"I feel like you haven't been treated good in so long. And I said, 'Well, I want to talk to you. I want to know what is going on in your relationship. You don't even know what's going on in mine.' And he said 'I know, but we don't have a lot of time. Have you exercised today?' It was like he was on a mission, sort of, like this kind of high energy." 

Greitens then reportedly had her take off her clothes and change into ones he provided. Then the incident in question began. 

5:15 p.m.

The graphic report details multiple instances in which the woman said Greitens spanked, slapped, grabbed, shoved and called her derogatory names during a series of sexual encounters as he was preparing to run for office in 2015.

The testimony contradicts Greitens' previous assertions that "there was no violence" and "no threat of violence" in what he has described as a consensual extramarital affair.

During testimony, the accuser said she thought she saw and heard Greitens take a picture while she was blindfolded and pantsless. 

 “[T]hen I hear him kind of, like, step back – take a step back and I hear – I can hear like a, like a cell phone – like a picture, and I can see a flash through the blindfold.”

30. Witness 1 testified that she felt like her “privacy was invaded.”

The woman then said Greitens spoke to her and said,  

“You’re not going to mention my name. Don’t even mention my name to anybody at all, because if you do, I’m going to take these pictures, and I’m going to put them everywhere I can. They are going to be everywhere, and then everyone will know what a little [expletive] you are.”

The women said she was humiliated and then went on to describe what the governor allegedly did next. From the report:

This is the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to me. So I just didn’t answer at all, and then he spanked me and said, 'Are you going to mention my name?' And I said – I just gritted through my teeth and I said, 'No.' And he’s like 'Good – now that’s a good girl.'

However, the report also notes that when the women was asked by an Assistant Circuit Attorney whether or not she saw a phone, she responded,

Witness 1 answered, “… I haven’t talked about it because I don’t know if it’s because I’m remembering it through a dream or I – I’m not sure, but yes, I feel like I saw it after that happened, but I haven’t spoken about it because of that.”

5:00 p.m.

In its report, the special investigative committee looking into alleged misconduct by Governor Greitens stated it does not have any evidence of the photo allegedly taken by the governor during a sexual encounter for blackmail purposes. 

The committee does not possess any physical or electronic evidence of a photograph or its transmission. 

The report did state the committee finds the accuser, identified in the document as Witness 1, to be credible. 

4:15 p.m.

In a public statement at his office in Jefferson City, Governor Eric Greitens said the release of a report detailing a special committee's investigation into his alleged misconduct will be full of "lies and falsehoods." He said the investigation and report are politically motivated and called it a witch hunt. 

Greitens also challenged the validity of his accuser's story, saying, "scenes will be filled with lies that we now know may have come from a dream."

READ: Greitens won't resign, calls inquiry 'witch hunt'

The criminal trial is set to begin on May 14, and the governor remained confident he will be exonerated.

"In 33 days this will all come to a close, because in the United States of America, you get your day in court," he said. "In just 33 days a court of law will let every person know truth and know and my innocence. This witch hunt will come to an end."

3:45 p.m.

Two state Democratic lawmakers have spoken out calling for Governor Greitens' resignation following their debriefing on the committee's report. Representative Deb Lavender called the report "graphic," and said the alleged victim is credible and Greitens should resign in the wake of the report's release. 

Representative Peter Merideth, a Democrat from St. Louis tweeted, "I've read enough. Resign now or be impeached."

Shortly after, Missouri House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty released a statement emphatically calling for Greitens to resign "for the good of the state."

“For the good of the state, Eric Greitens must immediately resign. If he doesn’t, it will be the duty of the House of Representatives to restore integrity to the executive branch of state government. This duty must be conducted with careful deliberation following a thorough review of the evidence gathered to date. Once House members have had the opportunity to digest the special committee’s report and accompanying documentation, it is our hope that leadership in both parties can agree on the appropriate next step.”

3:30 p.m.

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens will make a statement to the media at 4:00 p.m. from the Governor's mansion. That statement comes about an hour before the special committee's report was will released at 5:00. KMOV will stream it live, here.

1:15 p.m.: 

Missouri lawmakers met for briefings on the special committee's report in closed-door sessions. Republicans and Democrats had separate meetings on the committee's findings. Rumors around the Missouri Capitol are that the report is around 400 pages. 

12:15 p.m. 

A poll released Wednesday shows Greitens job approval shrunk amid the scandal; 48 percent say he should resign his position. 

Florida-based national firm Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. contacted 625 registered voters statewide between April 4 and April 6 and found that 47 percent disapproved of Gov. Greitens’ job performance. The poll also found 41 percent approved of his job performance and 12 percent were unsure.

Fifty-two percent of women and voters under the age of 50 said they disapprove of Gov. Greitens job performance.

Tuesday  - 6:40 p.m.

A special legislative committee investigating Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says it will release its report Wednesday.

A news release from the Missouri House says the House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight is scheduled to release its findings at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The investigation is a potential precursor to impeachment proceedings.

The Republican governor is charged with felony invasion of privacy and awaits trial next month. He's accused of taking and transmitting a nonconsensual photo of a woman with whom he had an affair while she was partially nude.

The woman says Greitens threatened to make the photo public if she ever revealed the affair that happened in 2015, before Greitens was elected.

Tuesday - 2:30 p.m.

A judge has issued a partial gag order for attorneys and witnesses in the criminal case against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison issued the order Tuesday in response to a request from Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner. Gardner expressed concern that Greitens' attorneys were trying the case in the media.

The Republican governor is charged with invasion of privacy for allegedly taking a compromising photo without the consent of a woman he was having an affair with in 2015, before he was elected.

Burlison's order does not prohibit attorneys from speaking about public information in the case, but prohibits comments related to deposition material, opinions about what witnesses might testify to and other speculative issues. The ruling also will require the judge to sign off on certain court filings before they're made public.

Tuesday - 12:35 p.m.

The attorney for a woman who had an affair with Missouri Republican Gov. Eric Greitens is accusing his attorneys of a "smear campaign."

Attorney Scott Simpson said in a phone interview Tuesday that the Greitens team wants to discredit the woman before she testifies at his criminal trial next month.

Greitens is charged with invasion of privacy for allegedly taking a compromising photo without the woman's consent in 2015, before he was elected.

Defense attorneys said in a court filing Sunday that the woman, in a deposition, wasn't sure whether she saw Greitens holding a phone during the encounter. But Simpson says Greitens told her he had a photo, and he threatened to distribute it if she spoke of the affair.

Simpson wants the full transcript of the woman's deposition released.

Powered by Frankly