Missouri governor charged with felony computer data tampering

Cristina M. Fletes  St. Louis Post-Dispatch  TNS via Getty Images

Cristina M. Fletes St. Louis Post-Dispatch TNS via Getty Images

"In three weeks, this matter will go to a court of law - where it belongs and where the facts will prove my innocence".

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has charged Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens relating to illegally taking a fundraising list from a veterans charity he co-founded.

In February, a grand jury indicted Greitens on a felony charge of invasion of privacy for allegedly transmitting a nude image of a woman he had an affair with in 2015.

Years before running for office, Greitens founded the Mission Continues, a charity to help veterans.

In October 2016, the Associated Press reported that Greitens raised close to $2 million from people who also donated to The Mission Continues. She testified that Greitens restrained, slapped, grabbed, shoved and threatened her during a series of sexual encounters that at times left her crying and afraid.

Greitens, 44, a married father of two has acknowledged having a months-long affair with the woman but has denied any criminal wrongdoing, asserting that he is the victim of a political witch hunt.

Gov. Greitens posted a new statement Friday evening on his facebook page, saying in part, "Two months ago, a prosecutor brought a case against me". "By now, everyone knows what this is: this prosecutor will use any charge she can to smear me".

Authorities are already investigating Greitens for one felony. That office had to move quickly because the statute of limitations was approaching.

A source familiar with the inner workings of the Mission Continues said there were regular emails from the charity to Missouri.

Court documents also allege that Greitens and 'K.T.' disclosed the donor list to the fundraiser for the objective of obtaining property of $500 or more. Federal law generally prohibits charities such as The Mission Continues from becoming involved in political campaigns, and the charity has repeatedly denied granting permission for Greitens - its former CEO - to use the list for political purposes.

House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty, a Democrat, cited the new charge as additional grounds for lawmakers to try to quickly remove Greitens from office.

But if the salacious and ugly sexual assault allegations haven't pushed Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R) off the public stage, the new charges filed against him Friday nearly certainly won't either.

Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard said due to the severity of the claims, "it is my wish that we immediately start impeachment proceedings".

At the direction of Grietens, a person known only by the initials K.T. disclosed data, specifically a donor list owned by The Mission Continues, to a political fundraiser working on behalf of Greitens campaign. Greitens was allegedly aware that K.T. retained or used the list with out the permission of the charity and Greitens directed K.T.to send the donor list in an April 22, 2015, email to the fundraiser. The campaign amended its finance reports to show a $600 in-kind donation received byrom former campaign manager Danny Laub.

His attorney, Ed Dowd, said in a separate statement: "This charge makes no sense at all".

"Now he's being accused of stealing an email list from an organization he built", Dowd askwd in a statement.

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