Greitens charged with two felony counts regarding the use of a donor list from nonprofit charity during his campaign

By Brian Robbins and Ben Striker

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens has been charged with two additional felony counts with the use of a donor list from his nonprofit charity during his gubernatorial campaign in 2015.

The news was announced by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner on Friday afternoon.

According to the Circuit Attorney’s Office, Gardner charged Greitens regarding two counts of tampering with computer data: modifying or destroying, disclosing or accessing for an incident that took place on around about April 22, 2015.

Attorney General Josh Hawley released the following statement regarding the newly filed charges against Greitens by Gardner:

“St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner reviewed the evidence turned over to her by my office and determined that there is probable cause to file criminal charges against the Governor,” Hawley said in a written statement. “The Office stands ready to assist the Circuit Attorney’s Office where appropriate and if needed. These are serious charges—and an important reminder that no one is above the law in Missouri. Like all criminal defendants, Governor Greitens is presumed innocent under the law until proven guilty.”
Gov. Eric Greitens’ mugshot

Earlier this week Hawley said in a press conference that Greitens committed a felony regarding computer tampering in regards to the nonprofit, The Mission Continues, and that he has turned evidence over to the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office.

“In the course of this investigation, we have uncovered evidence of wrongdoing that goes beyond Missouri’s charity laws,” Hawley said. “To be specific, within the last several days we have obtained evidence of potential criminal violations of Missouri law and the evidence indicates that these potentially criminal acts were committed by Governor Eric Greitens.”

Hawley said his office turned over the evidence to St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner on Monday since the alleged crime occurred in the city of St. Louis. Gardner on Friday ultimately decided to charge the Republican governor with the crime.

Hawley added that the deadline for statute of limitations is fast approaching and a charging decision must be made very soon.

If proven, these acts could amount to the unauthorized taking and use of property. Under Missouri law, this is known as computer tampering. Given the value of the list in question, it would be considered a felony, Hawley said.

Hawley confirmed on March 23 that his office has issued 15 subpoenas in connection with the investigation. Those that have been subpoenaed include The Mission Continues along with their staff and former staff, the Greitens’ Group along with their staff and former staff, staff and former staff with Greitens for Missouri, and other undisclosed individuals and affiliates.

The controversy began in 2016 when The Associated Press obtained a list of The Mission Continues donors the Greitens’ campaign was also in possession of.

The listed included more than 500 names, email address, and phone numbers of those who donated $1,000 and more to the charity founded by Greitens. The list also had names and contact information for foundations and corporations.

The AP found that of funds raised in Greitens’ campaigns initial two-months, 85 percent came from donors who gave to The Mission Continues. Throughout his entire campaign fundraising, there was significant overlap of those who also gave to the veterans charity.

Though initially denying that his campaign ever possessed the donor list, Greitens admitted that his campaign was given the list after the Missouri Ethics Commission looked into the matter.

The Missions Continues states that they “did not provide, nor authorize the use of, our donor’s information to any persons or groups for political/campaign purposes. Nor did we promote Governor Greitens for political office.”

Courthouse battle

Regarding the embattled governor’s first felony, St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison on Thursday denied a motion to dismiss the felony invasion of privacy case against Greitens, likely giving the governor a chance to defend himself in trial, which is set to begin on May 14.

Greitens’ defense team

The sanctions arose when defense attorney Jim Martin accused Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner last week of not providing the defense with a two hour videotaped interview with the Missouri governor’s former mistress in January. Greitens’ lawyers said they were told the interview, conducted by Tisaby, was lost because the video recorder “malfunctioned.”

Martin said the supposedly broken video tape of the alleged victim’s deposition “magically appeared” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, just one hour after the Missouri Special Investigative Committee on Oversight released a scathing report on the governor.

In addition to the video tape being presented to the defense, Martin argued that Tisaby lied under oath when he said he did not take notes during the interview with the former mistress of Greitens in a March 19 deposition at Carnahan Courthouse.

The defense showed a picture of the investigator in court, sitting next to Gardner, taking notes. The defense team alleged Gardner did not disclose that information to them, accused Tisaby of perjury and asked for sanctions against Gardner.

Greitens is accused of allegedly taking a picture of a bound and partially nude woman with whom he was having an affair with at the time and threatened to blackmail her if she made the affair public.

Greitens is accused of allegedly taking a picture of a bound and partially nude woman with whom he was having an affair with at the time and threatened to blackmail her if she made the affair public.

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