JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A Missouri House panel that had been investigating former Gov. Eric Greitens reversed course Wednesday and dropped an attempt to get records related to a secretive nonprofit group that had supported him.
A judge had scheduled a Thursday hearing on whether to still continue enforcing a House subpoena for records from Greitens’ campaign and a pro-Greitens group called A New Missouri in light of the former governors’ resignation last Friday. But that hearing was canceled after an attorney for the House committee notified Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem late Wednesday that it’s withdrawing its request to enforce the subpoena.
The House panel had sought records related to any coordination between Greitens, his campaign and the nonprofit, as well as media advertising records from the nonprofit.
A New Missouri is a 501c4 social welfare organization that is not required by federal regulations to disclose donors. The group, which was formed by Greitens’ aides, had supported the governor and his agenda — sometimes even running ads against his critics.
The House had indicated last week that it wanted to push forward with the subpoena for records, even after Greitens said he was quitting.
Greitens had been facing potential impeachment proceedings in the House when he announced his resignation.
His exit from office was part of a deal with a St. Louis prosecutor to drop a felony charge alleging he disclosed a donor list for The Mission Continues to his political fundraiser in 2015 without the permission of the St. Louis-based charity he founded. The text of that agreement had been released last week with two sections redacted from public view.
On Wednesday, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner released an unredacted version in response to open-records requests and after receiving an opinion from Attorney General Josh Hawley’s office that the full agreement could legally be released. The other previously redacted section simply stated that Greitens’ stipulation about the evidence would be kept under seal unless he committed a new offense or made public comments contrary to the stipulation.
Greitens still face the possibility of other charges. A special prosecutor has not yet decided whether to refile a previously dismissed invasion-of-privacy charge alleging Greitens took and transmitted a nonconsensual photo of a partially nude woman with whom he had an affair in 2015. That special prosecutor also has the discretion to bring other charges relating to that affair.
The former Republican governor has acknowledged the affair but has denied criminal wrongdoing and hasn’t directly answered questions about whether he took the photo.