Latest Greitens developments don't surprise lawmakers
JEFFERSON CITY —
Lawmakers from both parties on Tuesday said the latest developments concerning Gov. Eric Greitens won't affect House efforts to discipline him.
Gov. Eric Greitens' lawyers on Tuesday afternoon formally filed a complaint against St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, accusing her of misconduct in the invasion-of-privacy investigation against the governor. On Monday, Judge Rex Burlison approved a request by Greitens' team to have Gardner testify about the work of private investigator William Tisaby. Tisaby is accused of perjury related to his deposition of Greitens' former mistress. Gardner's office dropped the case Monday afternoon and is now considering whether to hire a special prosecutor.
News of the formal complaint caught members of both parties off guard but came as little surprise. Rep. Clem Smith, a St. Louis County Democrat who worked closely with Gardner during her time in the Missouri House, said he thinks Greitens' team is trying to distract from the issue at hand. He said Gardner is one of the hardest-working people he knows.
"I think they're at the point now, anything to muddy the water," he said.
On Tuesday morning, the House panel investigating the governor released a 2016 memo from Greitens policy director Will Scharf in which Scharf, then an advisor to Catherine Hanaway's campaign, described the creation of two shell companies which he claimed were meant to hide the identities of Greitens' donors. In addition, State Auditor Nicole Galloway has asked the governor's office to furnish information on how the governor is paying for his private attorneys. Galloway said the governor's office would need to provide legal justification for any use of taxpayer money for legal expenses. Meanwhile, the governor's office has asked investigative committee chair Jay Barnes to allow the governor's lawyers to be present during any consideration of disciplinary action and to allow cross-examination of witnesses.