JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – If the last few days have been a whirlwind for the Show-Me State, then Monday proved to be just another stormy day. Here’s a recap of the last 24 hours:
1. Confide lawsuit was not dismissed
The lawsuit that alleges that Governor Greitens had violated open records laws by using the text-deleting app, Confide, will move forward.
In his ruling, Judge Jon Beetem said Greitens’ defense team had 20 days to comply with the open-records request made in December 2017 by attorney Mark Pedroli. Greitens’ defense was seeking to toss the lawsuit out.
2. House releases an addendum to the report
Is the testimony of the woman at the center of Greitens’ 2015 extramarital affair credible? According to the House special committee tasked with investigating Greitens, the video deposition of the key witness does not undermine the narrative as claimed by the embattled governor.
“Greitens and his team claimed that the video of the interview ‘undermined the narrative’ and ‘directly contradicted allegations in the House report.’ We took these claims seriously and immediately sought the video interview in question,” said Rep. Jay Barnes, chairman of the House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight. “The committee does not find anything in the Circuit Attorney interview that causes it to change its statement regarding Witness 1’s credibility. Greitens’ claims about the content of the Circuit Attorney interview mischaracterize the actual testimony received and reviewed by this committee.”
That, however, didn’t stop Maria Jeffrey, a spokeswoman for Greitens’ legal defense team, from stating that the allegations made against the governor are false.
3. Missouri Times owner gave lawyer $50,000 before Greitens indictment
News broke Monday afternoon that publisher Scott Faughn had delivered $50,000 to Al Watkins, the lawyer representing the ex-husband of the woman who accused the governor of taking a partially nude photo of her in 2015.
Faughn addressed the issue on social media Monday evening, saying that he obtained tapes from Watkins but did not publish them before news of Greitens’ affair broke in January.
Twmp live https://t.co/hDO14VNMfb
— Scott Faughn (@scottfaughn) April 30, 2018
The House special committee investigating the allegations against the governor is expected to subpoena Faughn and has subpoenaed Watkins.
Missouri’s Eastern District appeals court Tuesday denied Watkins’ attempt to override a St. Louis judge’s order that he answer questions under oath later in the day about the $100,000 cash payments delivered to Watkins’ office in January. Watkins’ lawyers filed the appeal late Monday night, arguing that forcing Watkins to answer violates the attorney-client privilege Watkins had with Faughn.
4. Hawley investigating Greitens’ use of social media
A new report from the Kansas City Star on Monday shows that Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is launching another Sunshine Law investigation into Greitens, with the subject of this investigation being his use of social media.
5. Tisaby conducted testimony could be withdrawn?
Judge Rex Burlison said he could rule by next Monday whether to include the woman’s testimony in the Governor’s trial after the lead investigator, William Tisaby, refused to answer questions under oath. Burlison made the announcement after Greitens’ defense team said it intends to ask that all testimony the woman and her friend, who were interviewed by former FBI agent Tisaby, be stricken from the record.
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.