JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Less than an hour before the release of a report compiled by a House special investigative committee, Gov. Eric Greitens is defiantly responding to the report’s findings, calling them falsehoods and lies.
The report, which focuses on allegations stemming from his extramarital affair with his former hairdresser, was released Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Speaking before members of the media after 4 p.m., Greitens told them that the report will be “full of lies” and called it a “political witch hunt.”
“They don’t scare us, we are not scared by their lies and we are not afraid of their falsehoods,” he said.
He said that he fully expects more “false accusations” to rise, but insisted that a jury of his peers will, in “33 days” prove him innocent of the allegations.
“In 33 days, this will all come to a close because, in the United States of America, you get your day in court,” he said. “In this country, we don’t judge people before justice is done.”
He referenced the recent claims by the defense, who filed a motion earlier this week, calling out the validity of the woman’s story. Greitens questioned the validity in much the same way, saying that the allegations were based on “scenes will be filled with lies that we now know may have come from a dream.”
After making his statement, Greitens left the office without taking any questions from the press.
Democrats have already started calling on the embattled governor to step down, saying that if he does not, it will be the legislature’s duty to begin the impeachment process.
“For the good of the state, Eric Greitens must immediately resign. If he doesn’t, it will be the duty of the House of Representatives to restore integrity to the executive branch of state government,” House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty said. “This duty must be conducted with careful deliberation following a thorough review of the evidence gathered to date. Once House members have had the opportunity to digest the special committee’s report and accompanying documentation, it is our hope that leadership in both parties can agree on the appropriate next step.”
“Based on the shocking and unsettling events detailed in this report, we have no faith in Eric Greitens’ ability to effectively govern. He must resign immediately,” Senate Democratic Leader Gina Walsh said on behalf of her caucus. “If he refuses to do the right thing, the Missouri House of Representatives should move forward with the impeachment process.”
Rep. Peter Merideth, a Democrat from St. Louis tweeted, “I’ve read enough. Resign now or be impeached.”
I’ve read enough. Resign now or be impeached.
— Peter Merideth (@PeterforMO) April 11, 2018
Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.