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Attorneys argue future of Confide lawsuit

Cole County Judge Jon Beetem took arguments under advisement Tuesday in the case filed against former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and the custodian of records for the governor’s office.

The lawsuit, filed by Ben Sansone of the Sunshine Project, accuses the former governor and his team of breaching Missouri’s open records law through the use of messaging applications such as Confide that automatically delete messages.

Tuesday’s arguments followed a June order from Beetem that Mark Pedroli, Sansone’s attorney, provide proof of the existence of records before allowing the continuation of discovery.

Pedroli told ABC 17 News his aim is to depose members of Greitens’ former team and ask them under oath about the app’s use in their official capacity.

Pedroli said he’s confident that records were retained by third parties and that depositions will yield the necessary evidence.

Barbara Smith argued on behalf of the governor’s office, accusing Pedroli of making “bombastic and evasive” statements.

Smith said there was no proof of any records, as an expert hired by the governor’s legal team deemed recovery of any messages sent or recieved on the application to be impossible.

In May, the former governor’s attorneys filed a motion to stay discovery and later, a motion to issue a summary judgment that would effectively end the investigation.

Beetem did not provide a timeline for his decision on the motion to continue the discovery.

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