Charge Dropped In Case of Missouri Governor, But Prosecutors Plan To Refile

Defense attorney Scott Rosenblum leaves the Civil Courts building in downtown St. Louis on Thursday. Jury selection in Gov. Eric Greitens' trial continues for a third day on Monday

Charges Dropped Against Greitens, Prosecutor Vows to Refile and Refine Case

St. Louis prosecutors dropped one charge against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens because a judge ruled the city's lead prosecutor, Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, could be called as a witness in the case.

Greitens's attorney Scott Rosenblum sharply criticized the prosecutor, claiming misconduct in the handling of the case.

The prosecutor's office has other ideas, though, saying they still want to bring charges against the governor, but may appoint a special prosecutor to do so later.

It's unclear what will happen with the computer tampering case, but Greitens' legal team said that it should also be turned over to a special prosecutor because of Gardner's "clear conflict" of interest. The announcement was made just before 5 p.m. after prosecutors and defense attorneys met in the chambers of Judge Rex Burlison. The circuit attorney's office has a special prosecutor in mind, she said, declining to say who for strategic reasons.

Faughn, a Republican who has opposed Greitens, has caused consternation for years among some Capitol reporters who argue that his activism and ties to advertisers and operatives cross ethical lines.

On Twitter, Greitens said Gardner's decision to drop charges was a "great victory".

Gardner's office said it will "research the best step forward" and will "make a decision to either pursue a special prosecutor or make an appointment of one of her assistants to proceed".

Governor Eric Greitens announced the effort during a visit to a job fair at Fort Leonard Wood aimed at hiring more veterans to the Missouri State Parks system.

"Missouri revised statute 561.021 says that any office holder in the state of Missouri forfeits their office upon sentencing and conviction in a felony trial", said Calfano. There's an expectation that Greitens' political team will spend a lot of money trumpeting Monday's news, which may affect how Republicans feel about impeachment. Greitens has admitted to the affair, but denied taking the photo.

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Greifens also faces a separate trial on a charge of computer-data-tampering in St. Louis Circuit Court related to the alleged misappropriation of a list of contributors to The Mission Continues, a charity he formed.

On February 22, 2018, a Grand Jury indicted Governor Greitens on Felony Invasion of Privacy.

Greitens had been charged with allegedly blackmailing a woman with whom he was having an affair by taking a semi-naked picture of her and threatening to release it.

"I am disappointed not only in the result of the mainstream media's decision today, but even more by their decision to have a meeting about appropriating taxpayer resources without complying with the Missouri Sunshine Law", Faughn said in a statement after the vote.

"The dismissal of the felony invasion of privacy charge does not change the facts that have been revealed to the Missouri House of Representative's Special Investigative Committee on Oversight", Senate leaders said.

Voting to expel The Missouri Times were The Star, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri Digital News, the Jefferson City News Tribune, the Springfield News-Leader, the Columbia Daily Tribune and the Missouri School of Journalism.

House investigatory committee chairman Jay Barnes said it's considering its options for how to enforce the subpoena.

"We continue to go through the burdensome process of gathering and organizing thousands of additional documents for review by the committee, and of course, my clients will assert the same rights any party would have to object to requests that aren't relevant to the committee's investigation", Hanaway added.

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