Nearly three years after resigning as Missouri governor after being accused of sexual misconduct and campaign finance violations, Eric Greitens is once again throwing his hat into the political arena with an announced U.S. Senate bid.
The 46-year-old Republican announced his run on Twitter and Fox News on Monday while hailing himself as a fighter against President Joe Biden’s “radical leftist agenda” and a “fierce defender” of former President Donald Trump.
“We must fight to take America back from the lunacy of the left,” he posted on Twitter in his pursuit of the seat held by retiring Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).
Greitens received an immediate endorsement from former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, who cited Greitens’ loyalty to Trump as his reasoning.
Greitens resigned as his state’s governor in June 2018 after 17 months in office. It followed his former hairstylist accusing him in court of sexually and physically abusing her and transmitting a semi-nude photo of her without her consent as a means of blackmail during an extramarital affair in 2015.
Felony charges in that case were dropped against him in May 2018, but shortly after, the Missouri Legislature launched an impeachment investigation against him, leading to his resignation that same month.
In addition to the sexual abuse allegations, his gubernatorial campaign was under investigation into whether it had illegally coordinated with a political action committee in 2016. In early 2020, a near-18-month investigation by the Missouri Ethics Commission into the alleged violations found evidence that his campaign did violate state law, leading to it being fined around $178,000.
The investigation found no evidence that Greitens personally knew of the violations being committed, however, and with that determination Greitens declared himself vindicated and his campaign, in an ad taken out on Facebook, “fully exonerated.”
He went on to spend thousands in 2020 trying to rehabilitate his public image, as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.