Greitens' attorneys file motion to dismiss indictment - KCTV5 News

Greitens' attorneys file motion to dismiss indictment

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Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens
ST. LOUIS (KCTV/KMOV/AP) -

A St. Louis grand jury has indicted Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on a felony invasion of privacy charge for allegedly taking a compromising photo of a woman with whom he had an affair in 2015, the city circuit attorney's office said Thursday.

The charge says Greitens knowingly took a photograph of a woman in a "state of full or partial nudity without the knowledge and consent" of that woman. The charge goes on to say the photograph was taken "in a place where a person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, and the defendant subsequently transmitted the image contained in the photograph in a manner that allowed access to that image via a computer."

Greitens issued a statement on Thursday night: 

A spokesperson for the National Governors Association confirms Greitens is not attending this week's national meeting of governors event in Washington D.C.

He was previously scheduled to discuss veterans issues. 

Attorneys for Greitens have filed a motion to dismiss the grand jury indictment accusing him of invasion of privacy.

The motion was filed Thursday afternoon, soon after it was announced that a St. Louis grand jury indicted the Republican governor, alleging he took a compromising photo of a woman he was having an affair with in 2015.

The motion says any activity Greitens engaged in was "consensual."

Greitens' attorney Edward Dowd issued a new statement on Thursday night: 

“We welcome reviewing this issue with the independent, bipartisan committee of the Missouri House of Representatives.

For 40 years as an attorney for the public and for private litigants, I have never seen anything like this. The charges are unfounded and baseless. The Governor is absolutely innocent. Not only is he presumed innocent – he is innocent. This whole investigation is completely unusual.

This statute has never been used like this in Missouri history. In unprecedented fashion, the Circuit Attorney circumvented the local police force and hired her own investigators - we attempted to meet with the Circuit Attorney and make the Governor available to discuss the issues. They refused. She proceeded to file an indictment that has no facts.

We will work with the committee. We will be deposing witnesses and will be happy to share information with you with the Court’s permission.”

BACKGROUND:

In January, following a News 4 report, the Circuit Attorney announced she would be launching a criminal investigation into allegations against the governor. 

Greitens admitted in January to having an affair with a hairdresser. In a recording obtained by News 4, the woman said she had a sexual encounter with Greitens and that he tried to blackmail her with an image to keep the encounter quiet. Greitens has repeatedly denied the blackmail allegations. He has also repeatedly declined to answer direct questions about whether or not he took a photo of the woman.

Investigators working with the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office reached out to a number of lawmakers in Jefferson City in the on-going investigation into allegations against Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, News 4 reported last week. State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal confirmed to News 4 her office was contacted by two investigators, Jack Foley and William Tisaby. State Representative Nate Walker also told News 4 that he had been contacted by the two men.

The woman told her husband, who was secretly taping the conversation, that Greitens took the compromising photo of her at his home and threatened to use it as blackmail if she spoke about the affair. A news release from Gardner says it is a felony if a person transmits an image "in a manner that allows access to that image via a computer."

Messages seeking comment from Greitens and his attorney were not immediately returned.

Greitens has repeatedly denied blackmailing the woman, but has repeatedly refused to answer questions about whether he took a photo.

Court document of Thursday's indictment below: 

Reaction flows in from elected officials

Attorney General Josh Hawley made the following tweet on Friday: "A felony indictment by a grand jury is a serious matter. There is no place for party or partisanship. The criminal justice system must be allowed to work. I am confident the House's investigation will be thorough and swift, and will proceed without regard to party."

Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson, Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr and Floor Leader Rob Vescovo - all Republicans - released a joint statement, saying the House will "carefully examine the facts." 

“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," they said. "The people of Missouri deserve no less.  We will begin the process of tasking a group of legislators to investigate these serious charges.” 

Senate Democratic Leader Gina Walsh said it was time for the state to "take a stand." 

"It’s time our state takes a stand and ensures that women everywhere are able to seek the justice and equality they rightfully deserve," Walsh said.

There's also been a bi-partisan call for Greitens to resign immediately. 

"For the sake of our state, I am calling on Governor Greitens to put an end to this distraction and resign immediately," said Missouri Sen. Caleb Rowden (R- Columbia) 

Missouri Sen. Jamilah Nasheed (D- St Louis) is calling for the impeachment process to begin. 

 "I am calling on the Honorable Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives to immediately begin the impeachment process so that the people of Missouri can move forward," she said in a statement. 

House Minority Leader Gail Beatty (D-Kansas City) said Greitens should consider resigning. 

"It will be extremely difficult for the governor to effectively do his job with a felony indictment hanging over his head," Beatty said in a statement. "While the criminal justice system must run its course, the governor needs to consider whether remaining in office under these circumstances is the right thing to do for not only himself and his family, but for the people of Missouri." 

If Greitens is convicted, he would be required to forfeit the governorship according to Missouri State Law. 

This is a developing story. More information will be posted shortly.

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