JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The ex-husband of a woman who had an extramarital affair with Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens was expected to testify Friday before a House committee doing its own investigation into the indicted governor, the man’s lawyer said.
Attorney Al Watkins told reporters outside the Jefferson City Police Department where the House panel was meeting that his client would speak with lawmakers later in the day.
Missouri’s House speaker tasked the panel with investigating the governor following his recent indictment by a St. Louis grand jury on a felony invasion-of-privacy charge. The charge stems from allegations that he took a nonconsensual photo of the woman, who was at least partially nude, and transmitted the image in a way that could be accessed by a computer.
Greitens has acknowledged the affair but denied criminal wrongdoing.
The ex-husband has been a central figure in the controversy surrounding the Republican governor. He provided a recording to a St. Louis TV station of the unnamed woman saying that Greitens took a compromising photo of her and implied he would release it if she exposed the affair. She did not know she was being recorded.
Watkins’ acknowledgement that the ex-partner would testify offers a rare glimpse of the House investigatory committee’s work.
The panel’s latest meetings have been closed to the public, and Republican Chairman Rep. Jay Barnes, of Jefferson City, has said the goal is to protect the identity of those testifying.
“We respect very much the desire of the committee to be respectful of others who may want to keep things quiet,” Watkins told reporters, adding that “this is not something that should be shrouded in secrecy. Those who have been victimized should be supported to come forward, and not be fearful of reprisals.”
Meanwhile, Greitens took no questions from reporters Friday at a New Madrid County announcement of a new aluminum smelter.
His attorneys, in their latest effort to fight the felony charge against the governor, on Thursday filed a motion arguing that there’s reason to believe that prosecutors enticed reluctant witnesses to testify by offering leniency or warning of possible charges or adverse actions against the witnesses if they did not.
A spokeswoman for St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the motion contained “baseless and false allegations.”