Gov. Greitens calls investigation 'witch-hunt,' says trial will prove innocence

Gov. Greitens calls investigation 'witch-hunt,' says trial will prove innocence

Gov. Greitens calls investigation 'witch-hunt,' says trial will prove innocence

A Missouri state House committee released a graphic report Wednesday including lurid details of conduct by Gov. Eric Greitens with a woman who testified under oath that Greitens subjected her to non-consensual sexual activity and violence.

Flanked by other top Republican legislative leaders, House Speaker Todd Richardson announced that the special committee will expand its mission and make recommendations after the May 18 end of the regular legislative session on whether to pursue impeachment proceedings seeking to remove Greitens from office.

The report was on the investigation launched after Greitens was indicted by a grand jury in February on felony invasion of privacy stemming from a 2015 extramarital affair with his St. Louis hairdresser.

Greitens has acknowledged having what he says was a consensual affair but has denied criminal wrongdoing.

In addition to these shocking new claims, the woman testified about previously surfaced allegations that Greitens slapped her and threatened to blackmail her with a nude photo that he took of her without her consent. She told lawmakers she complied because she thought that would allow her to leave his home. Greitens then took off his trousers and coerced her into having oral sex, she told the committee.

The bipartisan group of lawmakers said in their report that they found her testimony credible.

When she told him she was angry about the photograph, he told her, "You have to understand, I'm running for office, and people will get me, and I have to have some sort of thing to protect myself", according to her testimony.

"This is exactly like what's happening with the witch hunts in Washington, D.C", he continued.

He told reporters Wednesday before the report's release he doesn't plan on resigning, despite calls from lawmakers urging him to do so.

One hour before the release of the report, the governor said in a press conference that the report represented a political witch hunt.

The state's Residence Minority Chief Gail McCann Beatty, a Democrat, talked about: "For the nice of the state, Eric Greitens ought to immediately resign" or else the Residence ought to "restore integrity" to the office.

She testified that during their first encounter in 2015, "for whatever reason, I trusted him" but that she didn't want to "do anything physical with him". She told the committee Greitens promised he had deleted it. She said Greitens then grabbed her in a hug and laid her down. But even as she was, as she told the panel, "bawling (her) eyes out", he pulled out his penis, put it close to her face and pressured her into performing oral sex. He also said he'll "continue to serve as governor" in the face of "fake charges". However, she presented conflicting testimony as to whether she was afraid. That's a reference to her testimony that since she was blindfolded when she saw a flash go off, she's really not sure she ever saw his phone, or whether the image she has of it is one she dreamed later.

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