Attorneys for Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens are pushing for a police investigation into the prosecutor’s office for alleged misconduct during her handling the governor’s felony invasion of privacy case, The Associated Press reported on Tuesday.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, the prosecutor, dropped charges against Greitens on Monday after a judge ruled the defense would be allowed to call Gardner to the witness stand during the trial. Greitens’ lawyers claim Gardner allowed a private investigator to commit perjury and withhold evidence from defense attorneys, according to the AP.
Ed Dowd, one of Greitens’ attorneys, told the AP that the legal team would be filing a report with the St. Louis police over the alleged misconduct.
Greitens’ criminal charge stemmed from an admitted 2015 extramarital affair with his hairdresser, an unidentified woman who claims her encounters with him weren’t always consensual. The woman initially claimed that during her time with Greitens, who was then preparing his campaign for governor, he took nude photos of her without her permission. Later, she said she may have imagined that photos were being taken of her.
The woman also alleged that Greitens forced her to the ground and coerced her into having oral sex, according to a Missouri House special investigative committee’s report released last month.
While Gardner’s office dropped the charge on Monday, it also asked the judge to assign a special prosecutor to refile the charge in order to take the case to trial.
“The court’s order leaves the Circuit Attorney no adequate means of proceeding with this trial. Therefore, the court has left the Circuit Attorney with no other legal option than to dismiss and refile this matter,” Gardner’s office released in a statement after the charge was dropped.
Gardner told HuffPost in a statement that she is not surprised by the “continued theatrics” by Greitens’ legal team.
“I knew when I began investigating the Governor that his high-priced defense team would use whatever means possible to attack my team and me in court and through the media,” Gardner told HuffPost. “How did I know? Twice Governor Greitens’ team of attorneys came to my office and threatened my staff and me with the continued barrage of insults and accusations if we continued to pursue charges against the Governor.”
The circuit attorney said that the actions of Greitens’ defense attorneys didn’t worry her and that there was not “one shred of evidence” that the private investigator assisting her office, William Don Tisaby, committed any illegal actions.
“Often times, powerful people use whatever financial means available to stop prosecutors from seeking the truth,” Gardner told HuffPost in a statement. “This is not the first time (nor will it be the last) in American history when an elected official was under investigation and they attacked the investigation itself to redirect the focus from their client to something else.”