Missouri Governor Claims 'Witch Hunt' Before State House Releases Its Report

The governor has been accused of sexual misconduct and blackmail involving a hairdresser.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens announced Wednesday that he’s the target of a “political witch hunt” as he held a news conference before the release of a state House committee’s report on its investigation into accusations of sexual misconduct and blackmail. 

“Here today, a report will make accusations about my personal life. We fully expect the report being released tonight will include lies and falsehoods. I want to say again what I said in the beginning: This is a political witch hunt,” Greitens told reporters.

The first-term Republican governor has been under investigation after admitting to an extramarital affair with his hairdresser. The woman claims Greitens took nude photographs of her without her consent and that the governor attempted to blackmail her. The governor’s accuser claimed on Monday that she may have had a “dream or vision” of nude photos being taken of her, but her attorney says the governor has admitted taking photos of her more than once.  

Greitens, who denies trying to blackmail her, was indicted in February on charges of first-degree felony invasion of privacy over the photographs, according to CNN. He is also the subject of an FBI inquiry and House special investigative committee inquiry in Missouri.

The House committee is expected to release its report Wednesday evening. 

The governor, a married father of two children, called his affair a “personal mistake” and told reporters that the report would be full of “false, outlandish and salacious accusations.” Greitens continually referred to his court date “in 33 days” and insisted that he would be exonerated at trial.

“Keep in mind how this was written: No standards of evidence were used, no witnesses were cross-examined, no one who was representing me was allowed in the room and no members of the press or the public were allowed in the room,” Greitens said. “If the committee had waited 33 days, they would have received a full set of facts. Instead, it was decided to publish an incomplete document made in secret.”

Greitens continued to characterize the allegations against him as an “absurd political witch hunt” that dates to the beginning of his political career. He went on to compare the investigations into his behavior to those occurring in Washington D.C., alluding to the special counsel investigation into President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign ties to Russia.

This article has been updated with more of Greitens’ statement.