Timeline of Gov. Greitens scandal, blackmail allegations
Several Republican and Democratic state lawmakers have called for Gov. Eric Greitens to resign after an extramarital affair and accusations of blackmail became public the evening of his State of the State address on January 10.
ABC 17 News has compiled a timeline of events:
1/10 – 11:36 p.m. – Greitens’ personal attorney releases statement to ABC 17 News:
“The governor has now seen the TV report that ran tonight. The station declined to provide the tape or transcript in advance of running their story, which contained multiple false allegations. The claim that this nearly three-year old story has generated or should generate law enforcement interest is completely false. There was no blackmail and that claim is false. This personal matter has been addressed by the Governor and Mrs.Greitens privately years ago when it happened. The outrageous claims of improper conduct regarding these almost three-year-ago events are false.”
1/10 – 11:26 p.m. – Greitens’ attorney sends joint statement to ABC 17 News from Eric & his wife Sheena:
“A few years ago, before Eric was elected Governor, there was a time when he was unfaithful in our marriage. This was a deeply personal mistake. Eric took responsibility, and we dealt with this together honestly and privately. While we never would have wished for this pain in our marriage, or the pain that this has caused others, with God’s mercy Sheena has forgiven and we have emerged stronger. We understand that there will be some people who cannot forgive – but for those who can find it in your heart, Eric asks for your forgiveness, and we are grateful for your love, your compassion, and your prayers.”
1/10 – 11:26 p.m. – Greitens’ attorney sends additional statement to ABC 17 News from Sheena:
“We have a loving marriage and an awesome family; anything beyond that is between us and God. I want the media and those who wish to peddle gossip to stay away from me and my children.”
1/11 – 9:56 a.m. – NARAL releases statement calling on Gov. Greitens to resign.
1/11 – 10:59 a.m. – Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft release statement saying he is “deeply concerned.”
1/11 – 11:12 a.m. – Rep. Ellington release statement urging Greitens to resign.
1/11 – 11:59 a.m. – Rep. Cheri Reisch declines to comment to ABC 17 News.
1/11 – 3:38 p.m. – Attorney General Josh Hawley’s office responds to ABC 17 News’ request for comment:
“Under Missouri law, jurisdiction over alleged criminal conduct of this nature rests with the Prosecuting Attorney in the place where the conduct occurred. If the Prosecuting Attorney has a legal conflict or lacks the resources to pursue an investigation, he or she may seek assistance from the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and the Attorney General’s Office.”
1/11 – 4:41 p.m. – Statement from Kim Gardner (Circuit Attorney City of St. Louis) sent to ABC 17 News:
“The serious allegations against Missouri Governor Eric Greitens are very troubling. After further consideration, I have decided to launch a formal investigation into the alleged actions of Governor Greitens. It is essential for residents of the City of St. Louis and our state to have confidence in their leaders. They must know that the Office of the Circuit Attorney will hold public officials accountable in the same manner as any other resident of our city. Both parties and the people of St. Louis deserve a thorough investigation of these allegations. If anyone has any information related to this matter, I encourage them to contact my office immediately.”
1/11 – 5:50 p.m. – Statements from the Governor’s office regarding investigation and recent reporting (Attributable to Greitens’ Attorney, James F. Bennett):
“The Governor is very confident he will be cleared in any investigation. This is a three-year-old personal matter that presents no matters of public or legal interest. The facts will prove that fully. As we learned today, these false allegations are being advanced by political adversaries.”
“The Governor denies that the picture was taken and denies stating the words attributed to him by her on the recording. Any allegation of violence is completely false. It never happened. There was never any violence. Anything reported otherwise is untrue and we will explore pursuing all legal action. This was a consensual relationship that lasted multiple months and was years ago, before Eric was elected Governor. We have not been provided the tape or the transcript and know nothing about the circumstances of how or why it was made and so are not commenting on any motives of any person who is claimed to have been recorded.” “There is no agreement, written or otherwise, related to these matters and no effort to enter any kind of non-disclosure agreement. There was no payment of any money.”
“We have been asked repeatedly by reputable news outlets why we believe this nearly three year-old news story is coming out now. The latest reporting has finally disclosed that the reporting was being driven by a “source” who is the former Democrat state party chairman and who apparently has not spoken to the person in question. This goes a long way to explaining what is going on. It’s become clear this is a political hit piece. This is and remains an almost three-year-old private matter with no matter of public interest at stake. Eric and Sheena have worked through those issues long ago and Sheena put it best: ‘We have a loving marriage and an awesome family; anything beyond that is between us and God. I want the media and those who wish to peddle gossip to stay away from me and my children.’ Now we know who has been peddling that gossip.”
1/12 – 1 p.m. – Parker Briden, Greitens’ Press Secretary, confirms to ABC 17 News that Governor Greitens is in Jefferson City.
1/12 – 4:20 p.m. -Statement from the attorney’s office that represents Greitens’ mistress:
“Our law firm represents the unnamed woman in the recent story involving Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens. We are reaching out to you today to ask the media and the public to respect our client’s request for privacy. This story has taken an emotional toll on our client and she is extremely distraught that the information has been made public. It is very disappointing that her ex-husband betrayed her confidence by secretly, and without her knowledge, recording a private and deeply personal conversation and then subsequently released the recording to the media without her consent.
“Prior to releasing the story, a number of reporters made contact with our client asking her to comment on the information provided by her ex-husband. In response, she has consistently and continuously asked the reporters not to publish the story. Any comments that were made ‘on the record’ or ‘off the record’ have consistently been requests for privacy. Our client is a single mother working hard to raise a family. She is saddened that during this time of national introspection on the treatment of women in our society, allegations about her private life have been published without her permission.
“At this time, our client would like to thank each reporter and media outlet who honored her request for privacy prior to the story’s release. She wants to remain a private citizen and does not want to be a part of this story. We are asking the media and the public to continue respecting her privacy.”
1/16 – 12:31 p.m. – Rep. Haefner sends statement to ABC 17 News calling on Greitens to resign.
1/16 – 3:26 p.m. – Briden sends press release: “Governor Greitens launches rural broadband Initiative.”
1/16 – 5:05 p.m. – Governor Greitens posts on Facebook about allegations.
“Before I was elected Governor, I made a mistake. It was a personal mistake, and I am sorry. I am sorry for the pain it caused to everyone impacted, including Sheena, our boys, our families, our friends, and people who have relied on me. I took responsibility with my family back when this happened, asked for God’s forgiveness and Sheena’s, and Sheena and I dealt with this together, privately. I was, and today I still am, grateful for her forgiveness and love.
“Much has now been written about this, and many of the assertions made have not been truthful and have proven extremely hurtful to Sheena, as well as to me. For us, the allegations that go so far beyond the facts have made this much more difficult. I made a mistake, I regret it, and Sheena and I have dealt with it between us. For us, that is where this story starts, and that is where this story ends. We again ask for privacy for everyone involved.
“Then and now, we are focused on moving forward. I ask for your forgiveness and hope you can find it in your heart to do so. I assure you that this personal mistake will not deter us from the mission we were sent here to do. We have been, and we will, continue to work for and to fight for the people of Missouri. We will take our state in a new and better direction. There is still much work to be done, and we are back to work for the people of Missouri.”
1/17 – 3:15 p.m. – Briden sends press release: “Governor Greitens’ Statement on Regulatory Rollback.”
1/18 – 1 p.m. – Briden sends press release: “Governor Greitens Outlines Principles for Tax Reform.”
1/18 – 1:30 p.m. – Governor Greitens shares statement and video about tax reform on Twitter and Facebook.
1/18 – 2:25 p.m. – Rep. McCann Beatty statement: “Greitens attempts to change subject with vague tax-cut plan.”
1/19 – 11:24 a.m. – Briden sends press release: “Governor Greitens Announces More Government Vehicle Reductions, Taxpayer Dollars Saved.”
1/19 – 11:30 a.m. – Jim Bennett, Greitens’ attorney, gives statement on resignation rumors:
“There is zero truth to any suggestion that Gov. Greitens is resigning. He is at work today and will continue to serve as governor.”
1/19 – 1 p.m. – Briden sends press release: “Governor Greitens Announces New Proposal to Fund Key Infrastructure Projects”
1/20 – Governor Greitens interviews with the Associated Press and a St. Louis TV station, saying the blackmail allegations are false and that he has no plans to resign.
2/22 – Governor Greitens filed a motion to dismiss on Feb. 16 over a lawsuit about the governor’s use of the Confide app.
2/22 – Governor Greitens indicted by Grand Jury on felony charge of invasion of personal privacy.