Prosecutors drop invasion of privacy case against Greitens; governor responds

Getty Images North America- Craig Barritt  Stringer

Getty Images North America- Craig Barritt Stringer

Gardner and the law professor she brought on to assist in her case against Greitens have significant ties to left-wing politics and recently released text messages indicating Missouri Democrats may have encouraged the alleged victim to work with Gardner's office to help bring down Greitens.

The trial of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens was halted Monday, the third day of jury selection, but officials said they will refile the felony invasion of privacy case using a special prosecutor.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner's office said it dismissed the charge because Judge Rex Burlison granted a request by Greitens' attorney to call the prosecutor as a witness.

Prosecutors dropped an invasion of privacy case against Greitens on Monday.

Greitens, who is married, has admitted to having an affair with his former hairdresser in 2015, the year before he was elected governor.

Greitens reacted not long after the decision saying it was "a great victory that has been a longtime coming". That photo was then allegedly used to blackmail her.

Defense lawyer Jim Martin also rejected Gardner's statement that she had "no adequate means of proceeding with this trial".

The announcement came late Monday afternoon after Circuit Judge Rex Burlison granted a request by Greiten's legal team to list Gardner as a witness for the defense in Greitens' trial, for which jury selection has been underway since Thursday.

Prosecutors have dropped an invasion-of-privacy charge against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, but say they plan to re-file the case with a special prosecutor.


Sullivan cited the fact that Greitens' defense attorneys planned to call the St. Louis circuit attorney, whose handling of the case has been under constant criticism by Greitens attorneys.

Greitens faces a separate criminal charge in St. Louis of tampering with computer data for allegedly disclosing the donor list of The Mission Continues to his political fundraiser in 2015 without the permission of the St. Louis-based veterans' charity he founded.

Greitens' attorney Scott Rosenblum has been particularly focused on any potential jurors with preconceived opinions, even those who have said under repeated questioning that they could be objective and unbiased while hearing testimony. She has told a House committee investigating Greitens that she was blindfolded, but saw a flash and heard a noise like that made by a smartphone taking a photo.

Missouri's rules of professional conduct prohibit attorneys from litigating a case in which they've been called as a witness, though those rules don't normally require the disqualification of the entire office or firm, said University of Missouri associate law professor Ben Trachtenberg.

House investigatory committee chairman Rep. Jay Barnes said it is considering how to enforce the subpoena. But Hanaway said she believes a subpoena issued to A New Missouri - a secretive committee that supports Greitens' agenda - is "beyond the scope of the investigation" by the House.

However, cracks in the prosecution's case began to appear when the the special examiner charged with going through Greitens phone to locate the images revealed that "none were found".

Greitens filed a motion claiming the hair dresser may have dreamed up a compromising photo, The Daily Caller News Foundation exclusively reported in early April.

Opening arguments had been expected to begin Monday. A meeting was also scheduled today, but Barnes canceled it because some committee members were not able to get to Jefferson City on time due to a traffic accident on Interstate 70.

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