St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison has decided not to rule on a motion to dismiss the felony invasion of privacy felony indictment against embattled Missouri Governor Eric Greitens this weekend.
Burlison’s decision came a day after the defense team accused St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner of withholding evidence and “gross misconduct and incompetence” and reintroduced a motion to dismiss the case.
Defense attorney Jim Martin accused Gardner on Thursday of not providing the defense with a two hour videotaped interview with the Missouri governor’s former mistress in January. Greitens’ lawyers said they were told the interview, conducted by Don Tisaby, a former FBI agent hired by St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office to help with the investigation, was lost because the video recorder “malfunctioned.”
Martin said the supposedly broken video tape of the alleged victim’s deposition “magically appeared” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, just one hour after the Missouri Special Investigative Committee on Oversight released a scathing report on the governor.
Greitens tweeted on Thursday that “the prosecutor turned over a videotape of her interview with the woman. This was evidence that the prosecutor was legally required to turn over months ago. She purposefully kept it hidden until one hour after the false report was released.”
The governor also states that investigative report that was released on Wednesday did not contain the evidence that Gardner handed over on Thursday, and the allegations in that report will be refuted by facts, including the video, depositions, discovery, and other evidence that will be subjected to courtroom analysis.
Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner hid a video that she knew directly contradicted allegations in the House report, and she allowed her lead investigator to lie about it, under oath. pic.twitter.com/PSKGWAFe9i
— Eric Greitens (@EricGreitens) April 12, 2018
Gardner responded to the governor’s statement with a motion Thursday night saying the misconduct claims are “unwarranted and appear to be an attempt to distract the court’s and the public’s attention from the merits of this case.”
In addition to the video tape being presented to the defense, Martin argued Thursday that Tisaby lied under oath when he said he did not take notes during the interview with the former mistress of Greitens in a March 19 deposition at Carnahan Courthouse.
The defense showed a picture of the investigator in court, sitting next to Gardner, taking notes. The defense team alleged Gardner did not disclose that information to them, accused Tisaby of perjury and asked for sanctions against Gardner.
“I’ve never in my practice accused the prosecution of incompetence and misconduct,” defense lawyer Scott Rosenblum said. “I am doing that this morning.”
First Assistant Circuit Attorney Robert Steele argued the defense’s claim that the woman is losing credibility, saying, “She has told the same account every time.”
Many lawmakers are calling for the governor to resign following the report that was released, which details the alleged conduct by Greitens with the woman who testified under oath that Greitens subjected her to non-consensual sexual activity and violence.
The report detailed the victim’s testimony that Greitens slapped her and called her a whore during one particular encounter. The report also detailed instances of slapping, shoving, and grabbing. On more than one occasion the woman was reduced to tears.
The committee was on a fact-finding mission regarding Greitens’ affair with his St. Louis-based hairdresser and a tape made available to KMOV regarding an incident where he allegedly takes a picture of her without her consent and uses it to ensure her silence.
He has denied the blackmail, has not confirmed or denied a picture, and called the investigation a “witch hunt” into a consensual relationship.
Just an hour before the report was released Greitens pushback against the findings calling them “lies.”
The report, which focuses on the unnamed woman’s recounting of events, pulls into question just how consensual the relationship was and other claims that have been made in recent weeks. Greitens declined to testify and did not respond to any of the committee’s request for documents and sworn answers to written interrogatories.
The House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight was formed by Speaker Todd Richardson on February 27, 2018, following the grand jury indictment of Greitens on a felony invasion-of-privacy charge in St. Louis.
Burlison, who issued a gag order in the case Tuesday prohibiting all parties involved in the case from commenting on it outside the court room, said he would allow Greitens to respond to the report, saying, “he has the right to proclaim his innocence.”
UPDATE: On Friday, First Assistant Circuit Attorney Robert Steele filed a discovery letter noting turnover of the latest evidence in the case: two pictures of emails from Greitens to the woman, a pic of admin contacts, and a picture of a phone.