Greitens’ defense team argues for dismissal, as House committee releases report on donor list

ST. LOUIS - Another round of court filings in the invasion of privacy case against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens were made public Wednesday.  Among the revelations were the arguments the Governor’s defense team are using to try and have the case dismissed.

Attorneys for the governor point to an investigator hired by the prosecution as a major reason the case should not go to trial.  They say William Tisaby lied under oath denying he took notes during an interview with the alleged victim.  Tisaby has since refused to answer questions the defense by asserting his 5th amendment right to protect himself from self-incrimination.

The defense is also arguing there’s not enough evidence for the case to move forward.  Part of one the filings by the attorneys for the defendant read, “The Circuit Attorney indicted a case that requires a photo but never had a photo.  She indicted a case that needed a transmission but never had a transmission.  She and Mr. Tisaby have made a mockery of the criminal justice system.  No other defendant would ever be forced to continue to defend himself under these provable facts.  The Governor should be treated no differently.”

More court filings in the case are expected to be made public Thursday.

Meanwhile, in Jefferson City, the House committee investigating the governor released another report.  This report focused on whether  Greitens illegally shared donor information from his Mission Continues Charity with this campaign.  The committee report indicates the governor signed a document stating the donor information was a donation to his campaign from his campaign manager.  That campaign manager was deposed by the Attorney General’s Office and testified it was Greitens who shared the donor list, according to the House committee.

“The idea you could take a non-profit list and use it for political purposes is flat out wrong and Eric Greitens knew it was wrong at the time he was doing it,” said State Rep. Shamed Dogan, (R) Ballwin.

The committee is not yet finished with its work.  Some lawmakers said it appears they will be asked to vote on holding a special session to take up the issue of the governor’s fate once the regular session ends in couple weeks.

From Catherine Hanaway, Legal Counsel for Greitens for Missouri, Partner at Husch Blackwell and Former Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives:

 The report released today by Chairman Jay Barnes does a tremendous disservice to the U.S. and Missouri Constitutions. Even a casual observer of our legal process knows that in the United States every American is entitled to their day in court, an opportunity to be heard, and proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Even though the report alleges that a false campaign report was filed, the Chairman did not allow the campaign an opportunity to be heard. He never asked the campaign to testify before his committee, nor did he request that the campaign provide any documents to his Committee. He did not issue any subpoenas on this matter to the campaign. And he certainly did not allow the campaign to be represented by counsel in its hearings nor to cross-examine any witnesses making accusations against it. He did not allow the campaign to confront its accusers or respond to accusations.  If a witness made an allegation, it was accepted as true and republished.

The sum and substance of the first 70 or so paragraphs outline a charge—that The Mission Continues list was used for campaign purposes—considered and resolved a year ago by the MEC with a $100 fine, less than most speeding tickets. The “big revelation” comes at the end of the report where former campaign manager Danny Laub attempts to say that he was falsely listed as the contributor of the list to the campaign. But if you read the actual testimony, Mr. Laub says Mr. Chambers called him, told him that his name would appear on the campaign finance report, that he was being listed because he was at the campaign at the time—and Mr. Laub agreed.

If the committee had heard from the campaign, it would have learned that Mr. Laub had possession of the list in early 2015, that the campaign was not formed until then, and that Mr. Laub was the top staff person on the campaign when it began.

This should have been an open process. There is no argument to be made that the identities or testimony of the accusers in this report should be shielded from scrutiny. This is, at its core, a minor campaign finance issue. The report pertains to allegations made about the source of a list used to raise money for a campaign. The witnesses were employees of or consultants to the campaign. Two of them were replaced long before election day. One of them worked for one of the Governor’s opponents in the campaign. And all of them were testifying about the campaign itself.

If Chairman Barnes were on a quest to find out the truth, he has unfinished business to conduct. He ought to ask the campaign for its version of events before acting as judge and jury in a matter that was settled long ago.