Impeachment proceedings may be on the horizon for Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens after a report issued today by a Missouri House Committee included graphic allegations of sexual misconduct by Greitens, including forcing a bound, crying woman to give him oral sex.
Speaker of the House Todd Richardson appointed the committee after allegations surfaced on the day Greitens gave his first State of the State message in January that he had taken nude photos of his hairdresser and threatened to make them public if she said anything about being with him. The encounter allegedly took place at the governor’s home at a time when his wife and children were away.
The woman’s ex-husband turned over a recording of her talking about the encounter to a St. Louis television station.
Telling her story under oath to the committee, the woman said Greitens took the photo of her bound and blindfolded and then made the threat.
CNN, citing the committee report, said the woman testified that Greitens held his penis near her face while she was crying uncontrollably and she did not feel he was going to allow her to leave unless she gave him oral sex. The encounter took place in 2015. Greitens’ four-year term as governor began in January 2017.
The woman also alleged she had several encounters with Greitens that featured violence, including the governor slapping her face, pushing her, and shoving her.
Greitens has admitted to the affair, but not to the allegations of blackmail and violence.
Greitens held a press conference earlier today, prior to the release of the report, in which he attacked the report as containing “lies” and “falsehoods,” and claimed he was the victim of a political witch hunt and that he fully expects his enemies to come up with new lies.
The governor said he had no intention of resigning and planned to continue serving the people of Missouri.
A St. Louis grand jury indicted Greitens on felony invasion of privacy charges for his alleged photographing of the woman and the lawyer representing the woman told Associated Press that Greitens’ team has been attempting to smear his client.
The governor’s political team issued a news release earlier this week citing a portion of the woman’s deposition in which she said she could not remember if Greitens was holding a phone to take a picture and that it all seemed as if it had taken place in a dream.
The news release emphasized the dream mention, but the woman’s attorney, Scott Simpson, told AP that Greitens told her he had taken the photos and was going to distribute them if she ever said anything.
The trial is scheduled for next month and if Greitens is convicted, he could serve as much as four years in prison.
The accusations concerning Greitens and the hairdresser are not the only problems he faces. Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, a Republican as is Greitens, is conducting a probe into allegations that Greitens, a former Navy SEAL, used a veterans charity he founded in an illegal fashion to support his campaign for governor.
Before the allegations surfaced, Greitens had been considered a rising star in the Republican Party and a future presidential candidate.