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Pierce writes: "We will spend most of our time on this week's tour in Missouri, where the sex scandal surrounding Governor Eric Greitens got deeper and uglier with the release of a legislative report that pretty much fitted Greitens' political career for a shroud."

Eric Greitens and Donald Trump. (photo: Getty Images)
Eric Greitens and Donald Trump. (photo: Getty Images)

It Is Unbelievable That Missouri's Governor Is Still in Office

By Charles Pierce, Esquire

15 April 18

The allegations against Eric Greitens are horrific, and his reaction isn't much better.

(Permanent Musical Accompaniment To This Post)

Being our semi-regular weekly survey of what’s goin’ down in the several states where, as we know, the real work of governmentin’ gets done, and where the lines are long and the fighting is strong.

e will spend most of our time on this week’s tour in Missouri, where the sex scandal surrounding Governor Eric Greitens got deeper and uglier with the release of a legislative report that pretty much fitted Greitens’ political career for a shroud. From The Kansas City Star:

What happened next, she testified under oath to a Missouri House committee investigating allegations of misconduct against Republican Gov. Eric Greitens, is spelled out in graphic detail in a 25-page report and transcripts of testimony that the lawmakers released Wednesday. It’s the first time the public has heard sworn testimony from the woman at the center of allegations of misconduct against the governor. The woman told lawmakers that in March 2015, as she tried to leave the basement of his St. Louis home, Greitens grabbed her in a "bear hug" and laid her on the floor. Then he started fondling her, pulled out his penis and coerced her into oral sex while she wept “uncontrollably.” The woman told the committee that Greitens had led her down to the basement, taped her hands to pull-up rings, blindfolded her, spit water into her mouth, ripped open her shirt, pulled down her pants and took a photo without her consent.
He threatened to make the photos public if she ever told anyone about their encounter, and called her "a little whore," the woman told lawmakers. After her hands were freed, she said she felt she had no other choice but to perform oral sex if she was going to get out of the basement. The woman and Greitens had several sexual encounters over the next few months in 2015, she testified. Some were consensual. Others were not. On at least three occasions he hit her.

There were five Republicans and two Democrats on the committee hearing this godawful testimony, and the committee found the woman’s testimony to be credible.

Republican legislative leaders — including House Speaker Todd Richardson and Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard — announced the report was enough to warrant a special session to consider disciplinary actions, including impeachment. Attorney General Josh Hawley later issued a statement saying Greitens' alleged conduct detailed in the report "is certainly impeachable," and he called on the governor to resign. Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, said the testimony in the report "is beyond disturbing. He later added: "The power given to the Missouri General Assembly to take disciplinary action or remove elected officials from office is one of the most serious and consequential powers the Constitution grants the legislature. We will not take that responsibility lightly. We will not act rashly, but we will not shrink from it."

Greitens, a rising star in Republican politics, is in serious trouble and, seeing how things work in Washington, apparently is determined to brazen this out.

He declined the committee’s request for him to testify, as well as an invitation to provide documents. But in a statement to the media shortly before the report's release, Greitens said the allegations against him were "false" and "outlandish." He also panned the committee's process, which conducted its work behind closed doors, and for not waiting until after his criminal trial begins in May before releasing its findings. He said the attacks against him are part of a "political witch hunt." "It was decided to publish an incomplete document made in secret," he said, later adding: "We have heard some of the stories they've been pushing in the press, and they are downright false." He refused calls to resign.

Sure are a lot of witches to hunt these days.

The situation is an astonishing collision of alleged sexual assault, political ambition, a huge imbalance of power and influence, and quite ordinary human frailty, as this account from the Star illustrates.

The ex-husband of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ alleged victim told a legislative committee that he feared for his life and that a legal fund was set up for him after he was contacted by reporters and at least one lawmaker. However, the alleged victim told lawmakers that her former husband had threatened as far back as 2015 to expose the details of her affair with Greitens and allegations that he abused her and photographed her without consent. Despite the man’s claims of reluctance to go public, his ex-wife told lawmakers that the day after their conversation about Greitens, “he kept saying, I’m going to ruin this guy, I’m going to ruin this guy.” The man’s decision to go public with the allegations against Greitens in early January has rocked Missouri politics, leading to a criminal trial and a legislative investigation that could force the governor from office less than two years into his governorship.
The former couple gave similar accounts about Greitens’ behavior, but their explanations of how the alleged behavior became public knowledge—potentially ending the career of a rising Republican star—are wildly different. This was either a father reluctantly coming forward out of fear for his life and concern for his kids, or it was an ex-husband seeking revenge on his ex-wife and the man he blamed for the breakup of their marriage.

But this week’s development is an important pivot. The Missouri state legislature has set itself on a collision course with the state’s governor. Josh Marshall’s joint has a good round-up of the reaction to the legislative report and the woman’s testimony.

Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley, a one-time Greitens ally, called for the governor to “resign immediately” over the “impeachable” conduct described in the report. “The House Investigative Committee’s Report contains shocking, substantial, and corroborated evidence of wrongdoing by Governor Greitens,” Hawley said in a Wednesday evening statement.
Hawley is currently challenging U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) for her Senate seat. McCaskill also called on Greitens to step down, criticizing him for putting his “wife and children through this kind of pain.” “The transcripts paint the picture of a vulnerable woman and a man who preyed on that vulnerability. I am disgusted, disheartened, and I believe Governor Greitens is unfit to lead our state,” Missouri Rep. Ann Wagner (R) said in a statement. Republican Rep. Jean Evans used similar language, saying “violence against women is always wrong” and Greitens should “do what is in the best interest of the people of Missouri and resign.”

It appears that Greitens even is losing the fringe of his party. Again, from the KC Star:

The report about Greitens' alleged behavior “surpasses disturbing,” said Missouri Rep. Vicky Hartzler. “It is disgusting.” Her strongly worded statement stopped short of calling directly on Greitens to resign, but Hartzler said his alleged behavior is not “befit for a leader in Missouri or anywhere else for that matter.” “Although he is certainly due his day in court, these reports further call into question his character as an individual, regardless of whether a law has been broken or not,” Hartzler said. She praised the “deliberate steps” taken by the Missouri General Assembly to respond to the allegations and said she was praying for the governor’s wife, Sheena Greitens, their children and others who have been affected by the scandal.
“More now than ever before we are in desperate need of honorable people with integrity willing to dedicate themselves to public service,” Hartzler said. “Our government needs it and the people of Missouri and our nation deserve it.”

One suspects that Greitens is going to decide at some point in the very near future that it’s time to go home and write the book about how he was hounded out of public life.

We leave Missouri and hop up to Michigan, where the state told the people of Flint, who still do not have clean tap water, that it is suspending bottled water delivery, and where Governor Rick Snyder decided to give up on another misbegotten scheme regarding the food the state feeds the inmates in its prisons. From The Detroit News:

Michigan’s Republican-led Legislature voted to privatize prison food service in 2012, a move that was projected to save the state $16 million a year as contract workers replaced more than 370 state employees. Snyder announced plans to end the outsourcing in February after two vendor contracts were marred by food quality complaints, instances of maggot infestation and inappropriate contact between kitchen employees and prisoners, including sexual activity. “We haven’t experienced the overall costs savings that we desired,” said Rep. Dave Pagel, R-Berrien Springs, who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Corrections. “It’s something we gave a fair shot to. We tried, and it just hasn’t seemed to work.”

Yeah, “maggot infestation” is certainly a mark against the legislation, even if the legislature itself seems willing to live with the problem.

And we conclude, as is out custom, in the great state of Oklahoma, where Blog Official Rum Igniter Friedman of the Plains continues to bum around the Caribbean while keeping us updated on matters back home. At a particularly feisty session of the legislature, there was a big brawl over a proposal to end the deduction of capital gains taxation. This being Oklahoma, naturally, cows were involved. From Nondoc:

Lawmakers with a heavy agriculture presence in their district are among those most opposed to SB 1086, since cow-calf operations pay capital gains on the heifers they purchase, feed, breed and sell while pregnant. “The main effect is it would hurt farmers and ranchers who are already working on narrow margins,” said Rep. John Pfeiffer (R-Orlando). “It’s kind of a more specific model, but I’ve got a lot of constituents who go out and bring heifers in. They’ll go out and they’ll buy a semi-load or two of heifers up north — from some of the big ranchers in Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana — and they’ll bring them in and graze them on our good Oklahoma wheat we have here. And they’ll breed them, then they’ll turn around and sell them as bred heifers. “The problem is that, as (SB) 1086 is currently written, these guys who, depending on the cattle markets and how much they have to buy these for, are working on very thin margins. They then (would) have to turn around and pay 5 percent income taxes on those heifers once they’ve sold them.”

All in favor say, “Moo.”

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+9 # chapdrum 2018-04-15 22:14
"But wait! There's more!"
Donald is still president of the U.S.A.
+12 # Romesh Bhattacharji 2018-04-16 00:25
With a President like Trump US citizens are immune to morality.
+7 # moreover 2018-04-16 02:27
If Fox noose reports about this they'll accidentally show his party affiliation as Democrat in the lower third - wouldn't be the first time such mistakes happened.
+11 # PeacefulGarden 2018-04-16 05:33
Why isn't he impeached? Why isn't he in hand cuffs. He is a danger to anyone. He needs to be in jail, now!
+11 # MainStreetMentor 2018-04-16 06:39
Here is yet another example of Greed trumping ethics and governance morals. Missouri’s investigative committee on Greitens’ behavior and actions have condemned the Governor. The Missouri Legislature needs to legally remove Greitens from office. Period. AFTER he is removed from office, he needs to be charged with a felony and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. In taking those actions the GOP might partially redeem a portion of its past nefarious conduct and replace a minute amount of the lost credence in their party. But I suspect they won’t do that – preferring to engage in ineffectual damage control for a lost cause and a morally bankrupt governor. In any case Greitens’ political career is already destroyed. It rarely gets any worse than this.
+6 # remoran 2018-04-16 07:23
Words cannot describe this kind of crap. We are sheeple allowing this kind of atrocious behavior and corruption to continue, both in the states and in DC.
+11 # Texas Aggie 2018-04-16 07:33
either a father reluctantly coming forward out of fear for his life and concern for his kids, or it was an ex-husband seeking revenge on his ex-wife and the man he blamed for the breakup of their marriage.

Does it matter? In both scenarios this ammosexual creep did what he did, and he needs to disappear, and his wife needs to consider what living with him the rest of her life will do to her and the kids.
+4 # chapdrum 2018-04-16 15:26
TexasAggie: "...he needs to disappear..."
Exactly right. We need to revive the ancient practice of exile. Don first, then Greitens and the whole kit and kaboodle to follow.
+17 # Forbes 2018-04-16 08:58
Grietens house is a few blocks from mine in St Louis. In encounters with him before he was Governor always thought of him as arrogant. As a veteran I was appalled when I learned from various Seals that Grietens did not receive his Trident (graduation awarded medallion for uniform) which means he flunked out or dropped out. Lying about your service is the worst thing a military man can do. So I was not surprise to earn he is a sexually abusive man. He should be in jail, not our Governor.
+10 # lotuslover 2018-04-16 09:23
And it is Unbelievable That Missouri's Governor Greitens was ever elected in the first place.

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