Greitens' invasion of privacy charge dismissed, could be refiled by special prosecutor

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Prosecutors dropped an invasion of privacy case against Greitens on Monday. However, Greitens quickly moved on to asking "people of goodwill to come together so that all of us can continue to do good together" (assuming that he isn't removed from office or found guilty of a separate felony). "There will be an argument that bringing this case again will be a misuse of taxpayer money, and I think you'll see that argument from the Greitens' team if they refile", Ammann said.

But, the announcement by the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's office that they were going to dismiss the case after three days of jury selection took nearly everyone by surprise.

Greitens hasn't directly answered questions about whether he took the photo, but defense attorneys said prosecutors were unable to find such a photo on Greitens' cellphone or cloud storage as jury selection in the criminal trial got underway.

A Greitens attorney noted the prosecution decision came just four hours after the defense filed a motion to dismissed due to lack of evidence.

The statement from prosecutors called the tactic part of "a scorched-earth legal and media strategy" that included attacks on "the intentions, character and integrity of every person involved in investigating the Governor's behavior including Missouri House Committee members, the Attorney General, the Circuit Attorney and her team, his victim, her family and those who have called for his resignation", Ryan's statement said.

The first-term Republican governor was charged with felony invasion of privacy for allegedly taking and transmitting a photo of an at least partially nude woman without her permission in 2015.

A felony conviction related to sexual misconduct would have nearly assured Greitens' impeachment, said Dave Robertson, chair of the political science department at the University of Missouri-St. He has denied taking the photo, although he has acknowledged having an extramarital affair with the woman. Lawmakers have scheduled a special session to begin Friday that could lead to Greitens' impeachment.

More than half of the prospective jurors are being dismissed, either because of time constraints or potential biases. Of those who have advanced to the next selection phase, some did so only after extensive questioning about being able to set aside opinions and discern the facts.

Vaccaro says too many defendants are sitting in the Workhouse, a caseload back up as a result of too much time and too many resources have been devoted to the Greitens case.

Greitens' attorneys have criticized Gardner's handling of the case, particularly her hiring of private investigator William Tisaby, who Greitens' lawyers have accused of perjury.

Prospective jurors seldom made eye contact with Greitens on Monday.

Greitens has rejected calls to resign from both Republicans and Democrats since he first admitted in January that he had an affair before he was elected governor in 2016.

"We owe it to Missourians to have a fair and thorough investigation of the facts", House leaders said in a statement.

Om May 2, the same committee released a report on Greitens' alleged misuse of the charity donor list.

Others who supported Greitens contend the dropped invasion-of-privacy charge should make it more hard to get the 82 votes necessary to impeach Greitens.

Greitens and his allies have long contended that the investigation and charges against him are politically motivated.

The House investigation is separate from Greitens' criminal trial on invasion of privacy. She has said Greitens threatened to disseminate the photo if she spoke of their encounter but later told her he had deleted it.

If the special prosecutor decides not to refile the charges the governor still faces a felony computer tampering charge when it comes to obtaining a donor list from his charity an using it for political fundraising purposes. Martin said prosecutors said they had stopped pursuing a photo. She called the decision by Circuit Judge Rex Burlison "unprecedented".