Missouri Governor Eric Greitens continues to be plagued by every level of his empire crumbling underneath him. It's like a house of cards, if the cards were in a hurricane, and each individual card was also on fire with a different accelerant.
The latest disaster for Greitens was a Thursday announcement that Missouri’s attorney general is now investigating whether a charity that Greitens founded was illegally coordinating with his campaign. And there’s plenty of reason to believe this was the case, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
It’s getting to the point where we start to write up one Greitens debacle, and then two more strike before we can publish. It’s all crumbling for Greitens at a rate that I honestly wish the Trump administration would match.
So why is the man not stepping down?
Well. He’s Eric Greitens. And no matter how bad this gets, Missouri seems to agree that he’s probably not going anywhere.
To recap: Eric Greitens used to be a Democrat. Then he ran for Governor of Missouri as a Republican. He wrote a number of books about his struggle and life experiences. If you want a painfully honest background on him, check out the leftist military podcast What A Hell Of A Way To Die, and the episode they dedicated to him. As folks who knew him, they generally sum him up as a Patrick Bateman of politics, who became a Rhodes Scholar and a Navy SEAL just so he could put those items on his resume — an empty vessel who still believes he’ll be able to run for president someday, despite his recent problems.
These recent problems involve an affair he engaged in back in 2015 while he was running for governor. He admits to the affair, and both he and his wife say they’ve moved beyond it. But he still refuses to give a straight answer about the worst part — the allegations that he took photos of his mistress against her will to blackmail her with if she ever came forward.
We know about this situation because the mistress’s ex-husband recorded a confrontation with her in which she admitted to the affair and said she bowed to the blackmail, including sending Greitens emails begging him to not return to her place of work. Since this became public, multiple investigations have opened, including an investigation into whether Greitens broke the law by using a texting app that deleted messages from his government-issued phone. Investigations into his activities are now ranging from illegal app use to general revenge porn violations. And yes, even his own party is turning against him and everything he stands for.
In a weirdly hilarious but still incredibly damning side story, a former male stripper who was once convicted of the same crime Greitens is being accused of (invasion of privacy, for taking photos of sex partners without their knowledge or consent) has asked Greitens for an official pardon. Because after all, it would be hypocritical for the governor to argue that the invasion of privacy statute doesn’t apply to him because you can’t invade the privacy of a consensual sex partner (seriously, that’s what he’s arguing), and then not use the exact same reasoning to pardon this other guy.
That brings us to the latest on the attorney general’s investigation.
We’ve previously reported that two of Greitens’s most trusted advisors — one of whom helped Greitens run The Mission Continues, the veterans’ charity that is now being investigated — are also accused sexual abusers. Maybe that sticks to Greitens, maybe it doesn’t? But everything from the last few days absolutely does.
The AP reported in October that Greitens’s gubernatorial campaign received more than $2 million from donors who had also given a lot to The Mission Continues — which could mean the charity shared its donor list with the campaign in violation of federal law. The latest St. Louis Dispatch report has an in-depth look at the extremely fishy circumstances surrounding the controversy, not to mention the contradictory statements and half-assed excuses from the governor’s campaign and others who may have been involved.
Oh, and did we mention that the Greitens machine has been trying to blame George Soros for the fact that Greitens was criminally indicted? Seriously.
All of Greitens’s responses to these developments boil down to the same thing: a belief that he will still beat this. Or that this trial by fire will somehow make him a better fit. Or that he might even score some points among conservatives for being the kind of man that overcomes this.
On Thursday, the Missouri House authorized its own investigation, which could be used to initiate impeachment proceedings. We’ll be watching those.
Clearly, Greitens doesn’t believe this is done yet. So now it’s time for the public to show him that it is.