St. Louis prosecutors dropped a federal invasion-of-privacy lawsuit against embattled Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens Monday, but they intend to re-file in the case.
Louis Circuit Attorney Ronald Sullivan cited the fact Greitens' attorneys planned to call to the stand the St. Louis circuit attorney, Kim Gardner. An investigator that Gardner hired, William Tisaby, allegedly made false statements during a deposition about his interview with the woman at the center of this case.
A lawyer for Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says prosecutors have stopped looking for the photo in connection with his felony invasion of privacy trial, a contention a prosecutor did not dispute in court. Since Gardner was in the room while it happened, so to speak, St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison decided that Gardner could be called as a witness.
According to he New York Times, the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office will seek a special prosecutor to re-file the charges.
The affair ended more than a year before Greitens won election in November 2016.
On Twitter, Greitens said Gardner's decision to drop charges was a "great victory". And Gardner said she plans to refile the invasion of privacy case with a special prosecutor.
"The dismissal of the felony invasion of privacy charge does not change the facts that have been revealed to the Missouri House of Representative's Special Investigative Committee on Oversight".
House Speaker Todd Richardson, House Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr and House Majority Floor Leader Rob Vescovo said in a statement they're still waiting for a recommendation from a special House committee on whether to impeach Greitens.
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. Earlier today, prosecutors conceded that they had failed to find evidence of a photo of the victim on Greitens' smartphone - a critical piece of evidence since the single felony count against Greitens in this case rests on an allegation that he photographed a woman in a state of partial nudity without her consent. Faughn initially said that he had retained Watkins because Faughn was working on a book about Greitens, and he has since said he gave Watkins the money to purchase recordings from Watkins.
Prosecutors have acknowledged not having the reported photo. "What we've seen in this case by the Circuit Attorney's Office, I can tell you, makes me fearful as to what's going on with other defendants that may not have the wherewithal to show what's going on", he said. Greitens also faces a felony charge in St. Louis for disclosing the donor list to his political fundraiser, though no trial date has been set.
He added: "We have a great mission before us". Rosenblum, however, predicted that the House, upon seeing the evidence amassed in the criminal case, would conclude that Greitens committed no crime.
House investigatory committee chairman Rep. Jay Barnes said it is considering how to enforce the subpoena. "She also objected to other large categories of documents", said Barnes, R-Jefferson City. He has called the proceedings against him a "political witch hunt" and has vowed to stay on as governor, despite calls for him to resign by several of the state's leaders.