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Missouri Governor Eric Greitens To Resign

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens announced that he will resign from office amid an impeachment investigation that stems from a charge of invasion of privacy tied to an extra-marital affair he had before running for office, which was later dropped, and a second charge concerning campaign financing.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens announced that he will resign from office amid an impeachment investigation that stems from a charge of invasion of privacy tied to an extra-marital affair he had before running for office, which was later dropped, and a second charge concerning campaign financing.

The 44-year-old Rhodes Scholar and ex-Navy SEAL made the announcement Tuesday. The resignation takes effect Friday.

In a statement Tuesday afternoon in Jefferson City, Greitens said that the charges and accusations were "designed" to hurt his family and friends.

A St. Louis grand jury indicted Greitens on Feb. 22 on one felony count of invasion of privacy, centered around an accusation made in a television news report in January that he threatened to blackmail the woman with whom he was having an affair with a compromising photo. No photo has ever been found, nor has there been any evidence one exists.

The accusation was brought by the now ex-husband of that woman, and was provided with an audio recording he made without her knowledge.

The woman later told a legislative committee Greitens restrained, slapped, shoved and threatened her during sexual encounters. Testimony from the same woman during depositions for the criminal case at times created more questions about the charge.

After an investigation marred by questionable moves by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, the charge was dismissed during jury selection. Gardner bypassed local law enforcement and her own office's team of investigators to pursue the case, instead hiring a private investigator, a former FBI agent named William Tisaby, who had previously been demoted for lying to superiors.

Greitens' defense team say Tisaby lied under oath and Gardner led him to do so when asked about interviews they conducted with the woman. Tisaby first testified that they took no notes and no videotape survived those interviews. Notes later surfaced the same evening that the Missouri House Committee tasked with recommending impeachment hearings released its report.

Gardner and her team were sanctioned by Judge Rex Burlison for their actions.

More strange developments surfaced, when Al Watkins, the attorney for the ex-husband of the woman involved in the affair revealed that he received two large cash payments totaling more than $100,000 in January. Later, it was revealed that at least one payment was given to him by Missouri Times Publisher Scott Faughn.

Gardner suddenly announced that she was dropping the criminal charge after Greitens' lawyers announced that she would be called as a witness in the case.

A special prosecutor was then named who is considering whether or not to refile charges.

A criminal charge involving campaign finance was filed by Gardner weeks ago, after Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley held a news conference saying that he had evidence of a crime involving a donor list from the charity Greitens' founded, saying he accessed it improperly.

The Cole County district attorney, who was also given the same evidence as Gardner to pursue charges, declined to file any charges.

The Missouri Legislature began meeting in special session less than two weeks ago to consider impeachment.

This week, Greitens' attorneys fought the committee investigating him for possible impeachment for information tied to a pro-Greitens 501 non-profit organization. A judge in Cole County ruled Tuesday that the group must comply with a subpoena from the committee for that information.

Greitens has denied criminal wrongdoing.

Missouri Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson will take over as governor when Greitens steps down.

Parson is expected to reverse moves Greitens made involving so-called "Low Income Housing" tax credits that have been a financial windfall for many connected developers and the politicians who support them. Just weeks before the affair was revealed, Greitens managed to force a vote blocking taxpayer money from going into the program, which several previous governors vowed to end because of how much it has cost Missouri taxpayers.

Attention will now shift to Attorney General Josh Hawley and Claire McCaskill, the U.S. Senator from Missouri who will likely be locked in a contentious battle for her seat. Many political analysts say Hawley will likely pay a hefty price for the way the Greitens story has played out.

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