Special investigative committee releases report on Greitens' sex scandal
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
*Editor's note: The anonymous woman who testified in committee for her extramarital relationship with Greitens will be referred to as “Witness 1” because her name was redacted from the official report for confidentiality purposes.
On April 11, a report detailing witness accounts of Governor Eric Greitens extramarital affair, was made public by the Missouri House of Representatives Special Investigative Committee on Oversight. The committee spent the last month examining details surrounding the Governor's conduct, in lieu of his May 14 trial date.
Greitens admitted to the affair during his State of the State address in January, enveloping his administration in controversy.
He was indicted Feb. 23 and charged with a felony invasion of privacy, that involved an alleged non-consensual nude or partially nude photograph of Greitens’ mistress who has remained nameless during the investigation. After the State of the State address, several major news outlets released the audio of a recorded conversation between the anonymous woman and her now ex-husband, which detailed a sexual encounter with Greitens.
The report, which is available on the Missouri House of Representatives website, details the House investigation and witness testimonies of Greitens’ alleged sexual misconduct in such explicit fashion that it required a sensitive content warning.
Reader discretion is advised.
On Wednesday at 5 p.m. the Missouri House of Representatives Special Investigative Committee on Oversight released a 24-page report of its investigation into Greitens extramarital affair scandal, making public in explicit detail the relationship between Greitens and Witness 1.
Greitens declined the opportunity to testify within the committee hearing, and failed to respond to the committee’s request for production of documents and sworn answers to written interrogatories.
Photo by Matthew Dollard
Witness 1, Greitens’ former hair stylist, testified the first sexual encounter she had with Greitens was during a March 7, 2015 hair appointment. During the appointment, she said Greitens moved his hand up her leg and “all the way up to her crotch” without her consent.
Her testimony continued on March 20, 2015, when Witness 1 said she met Greitens at his home, after requesting to speak with him about the previous occurrence. Upon entering Greitens’ estate, she testified that he searched her belongings, gave her a pat-down and checked to make sure no one had seen her enter the home.
The report detailed Witness’s 1 account of what followed.
Witness 1 said Greitens told her to change clothes into pajama pants and a ripped T-shirt, which he had waiting for her.
He brought her down to his basement where he claimed he was going to teach her how to do a pull-up and bound her with “gauze tape” to pull up rings and put a blindfold on her, according to her testimony.
She said next Greitens ripped off the t-shirt he supplied for her and began kissing down her neck and chest.
Witness 1 testified that she did not consent to Greitens tearing of the shirt, exposing her.
He then began kissing down her stomach, and pulling down her pants.
Witness 1 testified that she did not consent to Greitens pulling her pants down.
She then testified that she heard him take a step back and heard what sounded like a cellphone taking a picture, and she said she saw the flash through the blindfold. She said that although she thought it was a cellphone, she never really saw the phone during the entire encounter.
The committee received no evidence of a photo or it’s transmission.
After the supposed photo, Witness 1 claims Greitens said, “You’re not going to mention my name. Don’t even mention my name to anybody at all, because if you do, I’m going to take these pictures and I’m going to put them everywhere I can. They are going to be everywhere, and then everyone will know what a little whore you are.”
Witness 1 testified that she felt like her “privacy was invaded.”
After she began to voice her intentions not to continue the encounter with Greitens, Witness 1 said he helped her out of the tape and began to reassure her safety. When she attempted to leave, Greitens grabbed her and laid her on the ground of the basement floor.
Witness 1 said she was crying on the ground when Greitens began to undo his pants, take out his penis and put it near her face. With what she described as reluctance, Witness 1 then performed oral sex on him.
On whether or not the account was consensual, Witness 1 said: “It’s a hard question because I did it — it felt like consent, but, no, I didn’t want to do it.” She later explained, “Coerced, maybe. It felt as though that would allow me to leave.”
In May 2015, Witness 1 said she consensually met with Greitens a couple times, and they included conscious sexual interactions such as kissing and oral sex.
In June that same year, Witness 1 testified Greitens slapped her in the face during a meet-up at his home after she disclosed she slept with her estranged husband. Greitens, who was also married at the time, said she was “his” and she shouldn’t be sleeping with her husband.
Witness 1 testified the slap was jarring, but she didn’t think his intentions were to harm her, more so to claim her.
Over the next few weeks, the two communicated through burner phones Greitens had purchased.
One afternoon Greitens showed up to Witness 1’s salon saying his wife had received emails about their affair, and he was going to fly out to visit her and tell her nothing had happened.
At that point, Witness 1 testified that she cut off their relationship.
During a press conference to discuss the state budget, when Greitens was asked about the alleged photograph and potential blackmail, he responded with this:
“A lot of what has been put out is not true. There was no blackmail. There was no violence. There was no photograph for blackmail. There was no threat of using a photograph for blackmail. There was no threat of violence. The mistake that I made was that I was engaged in a consensual relationship and a mistake for which I am deeply sorry. For Sheena and I, that is where the story begins and ends.”
In a review of the evidence as a whole, the report states the committee does not view Witness 1’s nonreporting of these events to law enforcement or others as bearing her credibility, and that she did not initiate sharing the details with the committee or any law enforcement agency.
An alternative witness for the committee hearing, known as Witness 3, released the recording of Witness 1 revealing the affair to her husband to media outlets in December 2017. Witness 1 testified that Witness 3 had motive to ruin the reputation of Greitens.
The Committee noted Greitens will be afforded further opportunities to present evidence in future committee proceedings.
Greitens, in a public statement from his office the hour before the committee’s report was made public, said he expected “more false, outlandish and salacious accusations” from the report and called the allegations against him an “absurd political witch hunt.”
Greitens criticized the validity of the Special Committee's report, referring to it as an “incomplete document that was made in secret.”
“No standards of evidence were used, no witnesses were cross-examined,” Greitens said. “No one who was representing me was allowed in the room and no members of the press or the public were allowed in the room.”
Greitens said the allegations are nothing new.
“The people of Missouri see through this. And they know far better than to trust one-sided tabloid-trash-gossip that was produced in a secret room,” he said. “This is exactly like what’s happening with the witch hunt in Washington D.C. Smearing, lying and attacking people who want to change how things are done, is wrong in Washington and it’s wrong in Missouri.”
Greitens went on to say he expects more accusations, but will continue to work for the people of Missouri.
“I fully expect that desperate people and some politicians will bring more phony charges and make more false accusations, but here’s the good news: In 33 days this will all come to an end because in the United States of America, you get your day in court.”
Response from Legislators
In a press conference following the release of the report, Speaker of the House and Poplar Bluff native Todd Richardson said the committee was comprised of lawyers, law enforcement officers, and other members with diverse professional backgrounds from different parts of the state.
“Their job was not to make their own conclusions, but to hear testimony and to judge the credibility of witnesses,” Richardson said. “Let me be very clear about this: This is not a witch hunt, and the committee had no political agenda. The committees task, and its only task, was to conduct the fairest, the most thorough and timely investigation possible.”
In regard to the Governor’s pending legal proceedings, Richardson said the report had no intent of determining the governor’s guilt or innocence, which is for the courts and the jury to decide.
He said the legislature's unanimous decision to review the Governor's conduct are among the most serious and consequential powers assigned in the constitution.
“We do not take that responsibility lightly,” he said. “We will not act rashly, but we will not shrink from it.”
Richardson said because of the work still to be done before the legislative session ends on May 18, the committee will not be able to provide the general assembly with a recommendation, but he said he stands by the committee’s report. He said the report was put together by some of the most respected members of the general assembly.
House minority leader Rep. Gail McCann Beatty, a Democrat from Kansas City, released a statement on the alleged misconduct by Greitens following the Democratic debriefing of the case which denounced the current governor and called for his immediate resignation.
“If he doesn’t, it will be the duty of the House of Representatives to restore the integrity to the executive branch of state government,” Beatty said.
The next step, she said, is to analyze the data and documentation presented by special committee and hope both parties agree on the appropriate step to move forward.
She said that Greitens took no responsibility for what he has done, and the contents the report revealed are horrifying.
“He was absolutely dishonorable, and it is time for him to resign,” Beatty said. “What I saw today was someone who had zero integrity and basically simply lied to the people of Missouri.”
If the house further investigates other allegations toward Greitens, such as his use of a text-deleting app and misusing charity funds, that the case for impeachment will only be stronger.
Beatty said the legislative session has been set back to focus on this investigation, and she doesn’t see any bills passing before legislative session ends on May 18 other than the budget that is mandated by the constitution.
“Quite frankly this is the most important thing we should do this session other than passing a budget,” Beatty said.
Legislators were briefed on the report early Wednesday afternoon, and held meetings to discuss the findings.
Rep. Richard Brown (R-Kansas City) was among other legislators calling for the governor’s resignation following a briefing of the House of Representatives Special Investigation on Oversight in the hours before their report was made public.
Rep. Deb Lavender said the evidence against Greitens is very graphic and disturbing and called it a sad day for Missouri. She said the committee had found Witness 1's testimony very credible.
“When you see the report there will be very graphic descriptions of the Governor’s behavior,” Lavender said.
Cape Girardeau Representative Kathy Swan (R) was not available in her office or by phone that evening for comment on this story at the time it was published.
The House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight, which voted to continue its work in gathering information on the governor's conduct, is comprised of five Republican and two Democrat members of the House of Representatives and headed by Rep. Jay Barnes of Kansas City.
The committee held a hearing on Wednesday afternoon to brief legislators on the findings of the investigation surrounding Greitens’ case. The closed-meeting investigation began March 1 when the House of Representatives unanimously approved a resolution for the creation of the special investigative committee.
On February 28, Barnes sent a four-part request to Greitens’ counsel for the production of documents which included a request for all documents produced in the criminal case against the governor. Following the request, an order was entered that prohibited the release of the documents called for in one request.
The special committee under Barnes leadership made several attempts to invite Greitens to give his own testimony.
Photo by Matthew Dollard
From February 28 to March 23, Barnes repeatedly informed Greitens’ counsel of his opportunity to testify before the committee.
Greitens failed to respond when Barnes, on March 22, sent requests for sworn answers to interrogatories which sought disclosures of electronic communication accounts as well as computing devices under Greitens’ control.
On March 23, Barnes sent a request to Greitens’ counsel that he inform them of his decision to either exercise or waive his right to testify no later than Monday, March 26.
On the last day to do so, March 26, Greitens’ counsel informed the committee that he would be waiving his right to testify.
Greitens expressed his reaction to the committee's report, in a public statement from his gubernatorial office in the hour before the document was made public.
"If the committee had waited 33 days, they would have received the full set of facts, instead it was decided to publish an incomplete document, made in secret,” Greitens said.
With five weeks left in session the committee plans to continue its work.
Other members of the House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight are Rep. Don Phillips, Rep. Kevin Austin, Rep. Jeanie Laurie, Rep. Gina Mitten, Rep. Tommie Pierson and Rep. Shawn Rhoads.
The Arrow will be following the governor’s trial as it unfolds.