Missouri Gov. Greitens' lawyers want House report delayed

Posted at 1:39 PM, Apr 04, 2018

UPDATE, 3:40 p.m. | Committee Chair Jay Barnes told 41 Action News reporter Steven Dial Wednesday afternoon that his committee does not plan to delay the release of the report.

“This committee has given Governor Greitens the opportunity to testify, and remains open to receiving further information as it continues its work," Barnes said.

EARLIER |  Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' lawyers have asked state lawmakers to delay releasing the results of their investigation into the Republican governor as a related criminal trial plays out over allegations that he took a nonconsensual photo of a partially nude woman with whom he had an extramarital affair.

Attorneys for Greitens sent a letter to the House investigatory committee asking it to wait until the May criminal trial against Greitens is over. They voiced concerns about tainting the jury pool and said it's "unreasonable" to ask Greitens to testify to the committee before then.

The letter, which an attorney for Greitens provided to The Associated Press on Wednesday, was dated March 26. The committee is expected to turn over its report on April 9.

Both the House investigation and trial center on an extramarital affair that Greitens recently admitted to having in 2015, before he took office. A St. Louis grand jury indicted Greitens in February on a felony invasion-of-privacy charge over the photo allegations. Greitens has denied any criminal wrongdoing.

In the letter to the House committee, Greitens' attorneys wrote that releasing the House investigatory report before the trial "will cause pretrial publicity that interferes with the fairness and due process of the Circuit Court trial and unduly influences the jury pool."

The attorneys — who include Greitens' personal lawyer Edward Dowd; office general counsel Lucinda Luetkemeyer; and Washington, D.C. attorney Ross Garber, who has represented three governors elsewhere who faced impeachment proceedings — also wrote that Greitens will not testify before the committee while he faces criminal charges. The letter lists Garber as also representing the governor's office.

The lawyers wrote that while Greitens is willing to speak to lawmakers on the panel, testifying to the committee before the trial would "violate his right to a fair trial." Greitens did not respond to an AP question Wednesday about whether he would testify.

The attorneys also argued that the committee could review evidence from the trial if it decides to hold off, and said moving forward as planned would "disseminate incomplete, false and misleading information that will cause damage to entirely innocent people, some of whom are families and children."

The committee has given Greitens "the opportunity to testify, and remains open to receiving further information as it continues its work," Republican Rep. Jay Barnes, the panel's chairman, and GOP Rep. Don Phillips, the vice chairman, said in a joint statement Tuesday.

Barnes declined further comment Wednesday.