JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Heated words and foul language were flying at a Missouri House testimony, all over a pile of mystery money. That was the reality for the special committee investigating Gov. Eric Greitens when attorney Al Watkins was in the hot seat.
Al Watkins is an attorney representing P.S. -- the ex-husband of the woman with whom Gov. Greitens had an affair. Watkins spent Thursday morning testifying in front of the House Special Investigative Committee. In question were large cash payments made to Watkins and his client, and Governor Greitens’ attorneys were there too.
The morning kicked off with a heated confrontation between Governor Greitens’ attorney Ed Dowd and Representative Jay Barnes over documents requested by the committee and whether or not the governor would testify at some point.
The fireworks continued when Watkins testified, using colorful language, often showing disrespect to the members of the committee.
“If you want to hear my answer then shut up!” Watkins shouted at a committee member during the several hours-long hearing.
Watkins helped facilitate the release of recordings made by his client P.S., alleging abuse by the governor during a 2015 affair.
Watkins told the committee that in January, he received two cash payments totaling $100,000 to pay for his representation of P.S., which came from an anonymous wealthy Republican who had a personal issue with Greitens. The payment was arranged by Scott Faughn, publisher of the Missouri Times, Watkins said.
Watkins made it clear several times that he didn’t care from whom the payments came, but said he wanted to make sure it was not drug money, or some other form of ill-gotten gains.
“I don’t want that to be dirty money, that is important,” Watkins told FOX4's Shannon O’Brien, who then asked, “but isn’t it important who that money came from, to make sure it’s not dirty money?”
Watkins replied, “It may be to you; it is not to me.”
But it is important to the House Special Investigative Committee, which heard testimony from Scott Faughn Wednesday, contradicting Watkins' testimony.
Faughn testified that the $100,000 was his own money, paid to Watkins in exchange for the recording that first brought the scandal to light.
Watkins also told the House Special Investigative Committee that the recording of a conversation between husband and wife alleging abuse by the governor, has been floating around for years, ever since the 2015 affair.
Watkins said at first, P.S. hired him to make sure the story did not get out to the public.
“At the time the divorce occurred, he knew the relationship was over. He knew that he still cared for his wife. He knew he had to co-parent -- that was his priority then,” Watkins told the committee. “And when he hired us, it was his priority until late 2017.”
In December of 2017, Watkins said the couple’s daughter got a phone call from a member of the media and that is when P.S. decided it was time to release the recording.
Watkins said no one had any idea that decision would turn into a criminal investigation and criminal charges against the governor nor possible impeachment proceedings.
Watkins claims he reached out to the governor through back channels before the recording was released, but never heard back from his attempts to reach Governor Greitens.