In perhaps the biggest ICYMI of the week, St. Louis outlet KMOV News4 reported Greitens’ 2015 affair with a St. Louis-area hairdresser. The report was largely based on a secret recording the woman’s ex-husband made during her confession to him. He reportedly released the recording to News 4 after several members of law enforcement and media contacted him and his daughter about the affair. http://www.kmov.com/story/37240190/governor-greitens-admits-to-extramarital-affair
The news broke shortly after Greitens delivered his State of the State address to the Missouri legislature on Wednesday, Jan. 10.
The governor and his wife acknowledged the affair stating, “This was a deeply personal mistake. Eric took responsibility and we dealt with this together….”
Through his attorney (James Bennett), Greitens denied the alleged blackmail and violence. His lawyer promised to pursue “all legal action.”
Several lawmakers across party lines condemned the incident while respecting the privacy of both families. Rep. Mark Ellebracht (D-Liberty) acknowledged, “Infidelity is unfortunate, but it is not illegal. It is not fair for the governor to hide behind his family and use them as a shield for what should be a criminal investigation.” Most Republicans hesitated to advocate for an investigation, but Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard’s statement echoed most lawmakers’ sentiments: “Like most Missourians, we find these serious allegations shocking and concerning. … we expect the governor to be honest and forthright.” http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article194149869.html
On Thursday, January 11, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner announced her office is investigating the alleged blackmail. If proven, the Governor could face felony charges.
The story made national headlines, due in part to Greitens’ high profile fundraising for fellow Republicans. By Friday, the story appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post and the Huffington Post. KCUR, MSNBC and the PBS NewsHour also reported the story.