Currently facing a felony charge of invasion of privacy related to an abusive extramarital affair, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens was indicted Friday on a felony charge of computer tampering related to his campaign’s acquisition of a nonprofit charity donor list without their knowledge. Although Greitens founded the charity, the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office has accused Greitens of ordering the donor list to be copied without the charity’s consent.
“St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner reviewed the evidence turned over to her by my office and determined that there is probable cause to file criminal charges against the Governor,” Attorney General Josh Hawley said in a recent statement.
“The Office stands ready to assist the Circuit Attorney’s Office where appropriate and if needed,” he said. “These are serious charges – and an important reminder that no one is above the law in Missouri. Like all criminal defendants, Governor Greitens is presumed innocent under the law until proven guilty.”
In 2007, Greitens founded The Mission Continues, a charity that helps military veterans as they readjust to civilian life. Before leaving the organization in 2014 to run for governor, Greitens allegedly stole a list of the charity’s top donors and transferred the information to his campaign donor list in order to raise nearly $2 million for his gubernatorial race.
“When I came home from Iraq after service as a Navy SEAL, I started the Mission Continues to help veterans,” Greitens said in a statement on Friday. “In the seven years I ran that organization, we helped thousands of veterans, won national awards for excellence, and became one of the finest veteran’s charities in the country… I stand by that work. I will have my day in court. I will clear my name. This prosecutor can come after me with everything she’s got, but as all faithful people know: in time comes the truth. And the time for truth is coming.”
“Now he’s being accused of stealing an email list from an organization he built?” Greitens’ attorney, Ed Dowd, said in a statement. “Give me a break. Not only did he create this list donor by donor, friend by friend, but the Mission Continues still has the list. The idea that this is a crime is absurd.”
Several Missouri Republican leaders have called for Greitens to resign after the governor was recently indicted on felony invasion of privacy charge. According to Greitens’ former mistress, he repeatedly groped her, physically abused her, and coerced her into sexual acts under threat of blackmail with compromising photographs while she was blindfolded.
“I will not be resigning the Governor’s office,” Greitens tweeted on Tuesday. “In three weeks, this matter will go to a court of law – where it belongs and where the facts will prove my innocence. Until then, I will do what the people of Missouri sent me here to do: to serve them and work hard on their behalf.”
Last week, a judge ruled against dismissing the invasion of privacy charge against Greitens. While investigating the governor’s alleged crimes, a Missouri House committee is deciding whether or not to proceed with impeaching Greitens.