Friday, January 12, 2018

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens is under criminal investigation, as allegations of assault and blackmail swirl around his admitted extramarital affair

Eric Greitens
Eric Greitens, Missouri's "Navy Seal" Republican governor, is under criminal investigation over revelations about an extramarital affair that now includes possible elements of blackmail and assault.

When St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner announced her investigation on Thursday, it apparently was to focus on allegations that Greitens took a partially nude photograph of his mistress and used it to blackmail her into silence. But Greitens allegedly also slapped the woman, according to a report today from CBS News, and that could add assault to the criminal investigation. From the CBS report:

Missouri Republican Gov. Eric Greitens is under investigation Friday morning following new accusations of assault and blackmail he says are false. Gov. Greitens admitted to cheating on his wife with an unnamed woman, after the woman's now ex-husband exposed the alleged sexual affair.

He is now being accused of slapping the unnamed woman with whom he had the affair, reports CBS News' Dean Reynolds. Greitens spent his Thursday in damage control trying to rally support. But now, with an official state investigation, some Republicans are asking for clarity.

"With these allegations hanging out there, we need to get to the bottom of it," said Missouri state Sen. Doug Libla.

Republican lawmakers in Missouri want answers, which is why there is now an active criminal investigation into Gov. Greiten's alleged conduct, including an admitted affair with his former hairdresser and accusations of blackmail and assault.

The CBS report adds considerable detail to perhaps the most disturbing encounter between Greitens and his mistress, who had also been his hair stylist:

Recordings obtained by CBS News appear to show the unidentified woman detailing her alleged encounter with Gov. Greitens to her now ex-husband. 
"I knew he was being sexual and I still let him. And he used some sort of tape, I don't know what it was, and taped my hands to these rings and then put a blindfold on me," the unnamed woman in the recording said. "He stepped back and I saw a flash through the blindfold and he said you're never going to mention my name, otherwise there will be pictures of me everywhere….He tried kissing my stomach and tried to kiss me down there but didn't quite get there because I flipped out and I said you need to stop."

Gov. Greitens' attorney says the story is a hit piece driven by former Democratic state party chairman Roy Temple.

"If my goal was to have inflicted political harm on the governor, I would have brought this information public before the election," Temple said.

An attorney for the woman's ex husband provided details about what prompted Greitens to slap her:

Attorney Albert Watkins, who represents the ex-husband of the woman involved in the affair, alleges Gov. Greitens assaulted her.

"When she admitted that she'd had sexual relations with her husband during a period of reconciliation, that the governor slapped her," Watkins said.

Watkins claims Gov. Greitens first made physical contact with the unnamed woman in the hospital while Greitens' wife was delivering one of his children. Greitens' attorney denies any allegation of violence, and says the governor is confident he will be cleared in the investigation.

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