Missouri Governor Eric Greitens has resigned effective Friday afternoon following four long months of every-expanding scandals. The resignation follows an agreement with St Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberley Gardner to drop a felony charge if Greitens resigns.
Greitens resigns, finally
In a statement to the media that contained more defiance than remorse, Eric Greitens resigned from office effective June 1st at 5pm.
Casting himself very much as the victim, he told reporters, “The last few months have been incredibly difficult for me, for my family, for my team, for my friends, and many, many people that I love. I have not broken any laws or committed any offense worthy of this treatment.”
And although a Missouri House report found that Greitens may have engaged in non-consensual intercourse with his former hairdresser, he cited the suffering of himself and his family prominently: “This ordeal has been designed to cause an incredible amount of strain on my family. Millions of dollars in mounting legal bills, endless personal attacks designed to cause maximum damage to family and friends.”
The felony invasion of privacy trial against Greitens had faltered recently, but he had still been facing a second charge of felony data tampering, and possible impeachment by the Missouri General Assembly. Thanks to an advance agreement with Circuit Attorney Gardner, his resignation kills off both legal actions in one blow.
According to the St Louis Post-Dispatch, the Governor’s attorneys approached Gardner with the following offer on Saturday: if the Circuit Attorney drops the felony charge then Greitens resigns.
Facing a long bitterly-contested and expensive trial, Gardner took up the offer.
“It is time for us to move on,” Gardner said, explaining her reasoning. “Sometimes pursuing charges is not the right thing to do for our city or our state.”
Attorneys from Garner’s office refused to discuss the details of the deal, however, and it is still unclear if Greitens will have to admit any wrongdoing when a Circuit Judge approves the deal later today.
Still not totally in the clear
Kim Gardner’s message about moving on has not filtered through to Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker, however. She was named special prosecutor after the invasion of privacy charge faltered and appears to be in no mood to give up her new job.
In a statement Baker said, “In the interest of pursuing justice to its fullest lengths, we will continue until our work on the case is completed. Specifically regarding any deals we made with Governor Greitens’ attorneys, no deals were made by my office. Our review of this case, as I have stated before, will be pursued without fear or favor.”
A protracted ongoing legal battle would be an ignominious end to a once bright future for Greitens. Tipped to be a Republican leader of the future, the former Navy SEAL and Rhodes Scholar had the good looks and resumé of a central casting designed Presidential candidate. Now, four months after publicly apologizing to his wife Sheena Greitens for a supposedly consensual affair, his high-flying career has come to a crashing halt.