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Confused about the Greitens investigations? Here's what you should know

Artwork by David Kovaluk
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced Tuesday that he had found evidence Gov. Eric Greitens broke the law when he used a donor list from his charity, The Mission Continues, to raise money for his campaign.

Have questions about the Greitens case? Ask them here and we'll answer them on the Politically Speaking podcast.

There are at least three ongoing investigations into Greitens. Here’s a quick guide to each:

Felony trial

A St. Louis grand jury in Februaryindicted the governor on a single invasion of privacy charge. He is accused of taking a semi-nude photo without the consent of a woman with whom he was having an affair in 2015, and then transmitting it so it could be accessed by a computer.

Greitens has admitted the affair. The woman also accused him of threatening to release the photo if she told anyone about her relationship with Greitens, which he strenuously denies.

Jury selection in the criminal case is set to start May 10, with opening statements on May 14.

Judge Rex Burlison will decide on Thursday whether to throw the criminal charges out. Defense attorneys have accused St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner of serious misconduct for allegedly not turning over evidence that would benefit their client in a timely fashion. Most of the controversies center on a former FBI agent the circuit attorney hired to investigate the case.

The Mission Continues

Before he was governor, Greitens founded The Mission Continues, a charity that helps military veterans returning from war.

In 2016, the Associated Press reported that donors to The Mission Continues were receiving fundraising pitches from the governor’s campaign. According to the article, federal law prohibits charities from intervening in political campaigns on behalf of candidates, but they can rent their lists to all candidates at fair market value.

Greitens admitted to state campaign finance violations in April 2017, and paid a $100 fine for not disclosing a gift — in this case, the fundraising list — with a value of more than $100.

Hawley, the attorney general, announced in March that he was investigating the Mission Continues, and subpoenaed the governor in April. The new evidence, he said Tuesday, “would likely support a finding of probable cause that Mr. Greitens obtained an electronic donor list given by The Mission Continues for that organization’s internal purposes. Mr. Greitens however used that list for political fundraising. He transmitted that list for political fundraising. And he did all of this without the permission of The Mission Continues.”

Hawley did not file charges on his own, but turned over the evidence to Gardner, the St. Louis prosecutor, who said her office is reviewing it.

Missouri House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight

The House committee is where the two criminal investigations come together. The chamber voted unanimously in March to investigate allegations against the governor.

Its members released an interim report April 11 that included additional details about the relationship between Greitens and the woman, including allegations of physical and sexual abuse. Its release prompted politicians on both sides of the aisle, including Hawley, to demand Greitens resign or face impeachment.

The House committee’s work continues. Transcripts released this month reveal that its members subpoenaed documents related to The Mission Continues, and that a former Greitens campaign staffer testified to the committee in March. Details about the information in the documents, and the staffer’s testimony, were not part of the release.

Follow Rachel on Twitter: @rlippmann

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.