Ahead of legislative report release, Missouri Gov. Greitens says trial will prove his innocence

 

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens issued a statement Wednesday afternoon, just an hour before a legislative committee is set to release an investigative report.

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. In the statement Wednesday, Greitens said the upcoming jury trial will prove his innocence.

The Missouri House formed an investigative committee after the charges were filed to look into the allegations further. The committee is expected to release their 400-page report at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Greitens said Wednesday that the committee’s report will be “full of lies,” citing a “political witch hunt.”

“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,” Greitens said Wednesday.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens takes part in an interview in his office inside the Capitol Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, in Jefferson City, Mo. Greitens discussed having an extramarital affair in 2015 before taking office. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Greitens acknowledged in January that he had an extramarital affair in 2015 as he was preparing to run for governor. That came as St. Louis television station KMOV aired a report in which the woman describes a March 21, 2015, encounter with Greitens during a conversation that her husband secretly recorded.

In that recorded conversation, the woman says Greitens invited her into the basement of his St. Louis home, where he tied her hands to some exercise rings, blindfolded her and partially undid her clothing. She said she saw a flash through the blindfold and Greitens said to her, “You’re never going to mention my name, otherwise there will be pictures of me everywhere.”

Greitens has denied blackmailing the woman but has not directly answered questions about whether he took a photo.

A St. Louis grand jury indicted Greitens in February for allegedly taking the photo and transmitting it in a way that it could be accessed by a computer.

On Tuesday, a judge issued a partial gag order for attorneys and witnesses in the case against Greitens.

The attorney for a woman who had an affair with Greitens has accused the Republican governor’s 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.

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 said Greitens told her he had a photo, and he threatened to distribute it if she spoke of the affair.