Missouri GOP: Indictment is 'political hit job'

Senator calls on Missouri House speaker to begin impeachment process of Greitens

A growing number of lawmakers from both parties are calling for Greitens to step down or be impeached.

A St. Louis grand jury has indicted Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on a felony invasion of privacy charge related to the Republican's affair with a woman in 2015. "I did not commit a crime", he said, echoing his earlier statement from January in which he admitted the affair but denied the blackmail claims.

His attorney Edward Dowd Jr. called the criminal charges "baseless and unfounded" and said Greitens is innocent. "We will be filing a motion to dismiss".

The Missouri Republican Party on Friday suggested that billionaire and Democrat mega-donor George Soros was behind the prosecution of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R), who now is facing felony charges for invasion of privacy.

Gardner didn't respond, but her spokeswoman Susan Ryan said the prosecutor "will not be playing political games during this process". The penalty is up to four years in prison.

The Missouri Republican Party issued a statement of similar sentiment, pointing to ideological differences being the driving force behind the indictment.

"As I have said before, I made a personal mistake before I was governor".

Other Republicans remained reserved in their judgment but expressed support for a legislative investigation into Greitens announced Thursday by GOP House leaders. Gary Romine, who said impeachment proceedings should begin immediately if Greitens doesn't step down.

Top Democratic lawmakers and a handful of Republicans in the Missouri legislature called publicly for the governor to resign or be impeached.

The prosecutor pursing the case against Greitens was once a Missouri House member herself, serving two terms starting in 2012.

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Missouri Republican Party Executive Director Sam Cooper echoed those sentiments Friday, calling the indictment a "political hit job".

"They are randomly selected from the citizens, the grand jury went through evidence and determined that there is probable cause, so I don't think the grand jury motive would be political", said Corlew.

The circuit attorney is an elected official.

The AP reported that Democratic Sen.

He signed legislation last July to raise the legal standard for proving discrimination in housing, employment or public accommodations, which prompted an advisory against traveling to the state from the Missouri NAACP. As welcome as the indictment of Greitens was to those of us who find these allegations credible, a conviction of him - if, of course, he is guilty - is what matters.

The indictment states that on March 21, 2015, Greitens photographed a woman identified only by her initials "in a state of full or partial nudity" without her knowledge or consent. The report said the woman's ex-husband alleged Greitens photographed her nude and threatened to release the images if she spoke about their relationship.

Greitens has denied threatening the woman with blackmail but has not clearly denied taking the picture. He has declined to say whether he took a photo.

Joy said that less serious felonies like the class D charges against Greitens sometimes come to trial in less than a year. This movement is based on a deep sense, which we share, that we must rethink and reshape criminal prosecution, because what we have been doing - certainly in St. Louis - has not been reducing crime.

Greitens is a Rhodes Scholar and former Navy SEAL who entered the 2016 race as a brash outsider. He emerged as the victor in a crowded and expensive GOP primary.

He has also faced questions about so-called "dark money" campaign contributions and criticism for stacking the state board of education.

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