The Latest: Greitens says allegations of violence are false - InfoNews

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The Latest: Greitens says allegations of violence are false

April 11, 2018 - 7:25 PM

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The Latest on Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (all times local):

9:25 p.m.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says allegations of violence or sexual assault related to an extramarital affair he had are false, despite testimony by the woman that he was physically aggressive during an unwanted sexual encounter.

In a statement late Wednesday, Greitens repeated that the affair was consensual.

A House investigatory report released Wednesday includes testimony from the woman, who said Greitens slapped, grabbed and shoved her during a 2015 affair before his election. She also said he threatened to distribute a partially nude photo of her if she spoke about their relationship.

A special House panel launched the investigation of Greitens shortly after he was indicted in February on a felony invasion-of-privacy charge related to the photo claim.

Greitens says his innocence will be proven during a criminal trial scheduled for May 14.

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7:55 p.m.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Hawley is joining in the call for Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens to resign.

Hawley issued a statement Wednesday night saying a special legislative committee's report contains "shocking, substantial, and corroborated evidence of wrongdoing by Governor Greitens."

Hawley is the state attorney general. He calls the Republican governor's conduct "impeachable" in his judgment. But he says the people of Missouri should not be put through an impeachment "ordeal" and the governor should step down.

The investigation began in March, soon after a criminal invasion of privacy indictment accused the governor of taking a compromising photo of the woman without her permission during a sexual encounter in 2015, before he was elected.

Hawley is running for Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill's seat.

McCaskill also issued a statement late Wednesday calling for the governor to resign.

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6:30 p.m.

A Missouri House committee is expanding its investigation into Republican Gov. Eric Greitens and will make recommendations about whether to pursue impeachment.

Republican House Speaker Todd Richardson said Wednesday that any recommendations on disciplinary action will come after the May 18 end of the regular legislative session. He says lawmakers will take steps to call themselves into a special session.

That means any legislative action also could come after Greitens' criminal trial on a felony invasion of privacy charge for allegedly taking and transmitting a nonconsensual photo of a partially nude woman in 2015. That trial is to start May 14.

The woman testified to the House investigatory committee that Greitens was physically aggressive during an unwanted sexual encounter and threatened to distribute a photo if she spoke about it.

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5:50 p.m.

The attorney for the ex-husband of the woman who had an affair with Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is accusing the governor of refusing to take responsibility for his own scandal.

A special legislative committee on Wednesday released a report citing testimony in which the woman claims Greitens initiated unwanted sex acts and grabbed, slapped and shoved her during their affair in 2015, before he was elected.

Greitens, speaking at a news conference prior to release of the report, said he was the victim of a "political witch hunt" and said the report is "full of lies."

The four witnesses cited in the report are the woman, her ex-husband and two of her friends.

Attorney Al Watkins, who represents the ex-husband, told The Associated Press in an email that it is a "sad day for the State of Missouri."

A message seeking comment from the attorney for the woman was not immediately returned.

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5:30 p.m.

The Missouri Senate Democratic Caucus is calling on Republican Gov. Eric Greitens to "resign immediately."

Lawmakers on Wednesday reviewed a report from a special House committee investigating the governor in connection with an extramarital affair with his St. Louis hairdresser in 2015, before he was elected. The woman testified that Greitens initiated unwanted sexual contact and slapped, grabbed and shoved her.

Greitens said at a news conference that the report from the committee is "full of lies" and is part of a "political witch hunt." The committee is made up of five Republicans and two Democrats.

Senate Democratic Leader Gina Walsh released a statement saying the caucus has no faith in Greitens based on "the shocking and unsettling events detailed in this report." She says that if Greitens doesn't resign, the House should move forward with impeachment.

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5:20 p.m.

A special legislative committee that investigated Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says it's disappointed the governor declined to testify.

The committee released a report Wednesday on the investigation launched after Greitens was indicted by a grand jury in February on felony invasion of privacy stemming from a 2015 extramarital affair with his St. Louis hairdresser.

The woman testified that Greitens initiated unwanted sexual contact and slapped, grabbed and shoved her. She testified that during their first sexual encounter, Greitens threatened to distribute a partially nude photo taken without her permission if she spoke of the affair.

The report says Greitens stated through his attorneys he would be willing to testify after his criminal trial in St. Louis.

But Susan Ryan, a spokeswoman for St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, says there were no restrictions from the circuit court prohibiting Greitens from testifying before the House committee.

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5:10 p.m.

A woman has testified that Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens slapped, shoved and grabbed her several times during an extramarital affair.

The testimony from Greitens' former hairdresser was released Wednesday by a special legislative committee investigating allegations against the Republican governor.

The woman testified that during a March 2015 encounter in Greitens' basement, he asked her if she would tell anyone about their interaction. When she didn't answer, he spanked her.

During a June visit to his house, she said Greitens slapped her face after she told him she'd had sex with her then-husband. She said she felt "like he was trying to claim" her.

She described another incident to the committee during which she said he smacked her, grabbed her and shoved her to the ground. She said she "instantly started bawling."

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5 p.m.

A woman has testified that Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens was physically aggressive during an unwanted sexual encounter and threatened to distribute a partially nude photo of her if she spoke about it.

The testimony from Greitens' former hairdresser was released Wednesday by a special legislative committee investigating the Republican governor.

The panel launched its probe shortly after Greitens was indicted in February on a felony invasion-of-privacy charge for taking and transmitting a nonconsensual photo of the woman in 2015, before his election.

Greitens has acknowledged having what he says was a consensual affair but has denied criminal wrongdoing. He hasn't directly answered questions about whether he took a photo.

The woman testified she had several subsequent encounters with Greitens during which he slapped, grabbed and shoved her.

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4:25 p.m.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says a state House committee's report on an investigation into his extramarital affair with his hairdresser will be "full of lies."

He calls the investigation a "political witch hunt."

The governor's comments Wednesday came an hour before the House committee was to release its findings.

The panel launched its investigation shortly after Greitens was indicted in February on a felony invasion-of-privacy charge. Prosecutors allege he took a compromising photo of the woman without her consent in 2015, before he won election.

The committee's report isn't expected to contain any recommended action, but House Democratic Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty is calling on the governor to immediately resign.

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3:50 p.m.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens plans to hold a press conference the same day a state House committee is releasing findings from an investigation into allegations related to his extramarital affair with his hairdresser.

Greitens is scheduled to meet with reporters at 4 p.m. Wednesday in his Capitol office.

The panel launched its investigation shortly after Greitens was indicted in February on a felony invasion-of-privacy charge. Prosecutors allege he took a compromising photo of the woman without her consent in 2015, before he won election.

Greitens has acknowledged having a consensual affair but hasn't directly answered questions about whether he took a photo and has denied criminal wrongdoing.

The House committee hasn't released its findings. The report isn't expected to contain any recommended action, but House Democratic Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty is calling on the governor to immediately resign.

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12 a.m.

The political future of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens faces a big test when a special legislative committee issues its investigative report related to an extramarital affair the Republican had.

Greitens also faces a pending criminal trial on a felony indictment in St. Louis for allegedly taking a compromising photo of the woman without her permission and an investigation by the state's attorney general into the activities of a veterans charity he founded.

The investigations have created governing challenges and uncertainty for the former Navy SEAL officer once considered presidential material.

A Greitens spokesman says the administration is "operating as normal." But Republican political consultant John Hancock says the scandal has had a debilitating effect on Greitens.

News from © The Associated Press, 2018
The Associated Press

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