‘We’re fighting back’ – Eric Greitens on new ethics report on his campaign

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ST. LOUIS – Former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens says he’s won an investigation into questions about his campaign money.

On Thursday afternoon, the Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC) released an 18-page report about its investigation clearing former Governor Eric Greitens. But it did point the finger at two things in Greitens’ successful 2016 campaign for governor.

“I am really glad that we were vindicated and I’m really glad the truth is finally coming out,” Greitens said.

Greitens says the ethics report clears him.

“I am really glad that we were vindicated and I’m really glad the truth is finally coming out,” he said.

The report is exhaustive. It notes 23 subpoenas, 20 interviews, and about 8,000 emails and video.

It says, “…the MEC found no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Eric Greitens, individually…”

Former Missouri State Rep. Jay Barnes filed the complaint in 2018 in conjunction with his House Committee investigation into Greitens’ extramarital affair, which came to light in January 2018.

On June 26, 2018, Barnes wrote to his committee about alleged dark money raised by a nonprofit with Greitens’ ties called “A New Missouri.” That began the MEC investigation into Greitens’ campaign.

Barnes wrote: “Make no mistake. Missourians deserve a full accounting of A New Missouri, Inc., which I have come to believe was a criminal enterprise from its inception…”

Though the ethics report found no wrongdoing by Greitens, it did note two violations by his campaign “Greitens for Missouri” for “failure to report in-kind contributions from LG Pac and A New Missouri.”

“You’ve got lawyer politicians who are making false accusations and I think what’s nice now is that everybody knows and everybody can see that this is exactly what this was,” Greitens said.

MEC imposed two fees of $98,417.00 and $79,670.00. Then it offered the campaign a deal: “(pay) $38,000.00 of the total fees within 45 days… and the remainder will be stayed.”

The ethics committee added that it found “…no evidence that Governor Greitens knew of the two reporting violations...”

The MEC report adds this interesting line about Greitens’ ability to fight back – “…nothing in this document is intended to nor shall it be interpreted to limit the civil or criminal remedies that may be available to Governor Greitens and other affected parties.”

“We are fighting back, Chris, and we want to make sure that everybody else knows the truth,” Greitens said.

He resigned as Missouri governor in June 2018 after St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner dropped the invasion of privacy case against him – related to his affair.

Greitens said keeping his job as governor was too much of a strain on his family.

“It was the right decision at the time for the people who I loved the most,” he said. “One of the things we said when I resigned is sometimes you have to step off the battlefield and take care of the wounded and you have to take care of the wounded who you love.”

It’s interesting to note some of the MEC’s inquiry surrounded Greitens’ campaign attacks on Catherine Hanaway when she ran against him in 2016. Hanaway was part of the team defending Greitens in this 20-month MEC investigation.

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