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Politically Speaking: Woman at heart of Greitens scandal speaks, lawmakers listen

Members of a committee looking into Gov. Eric Greitens' conduct listen in on Thursday, May 24 to testimony.
Tim Bommel I House Communications
Members of a committee looking into Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' conduct listen Thursday to testimony.

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies go over this week’s big developments in Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ political and legal saga.

This week’s episode zeroes in on how the woman at the heart of the scandal, identified only as K.S., spoke semi-publicly for the first time. A T.V. interivew with the woman on Monday came as lawmakers read depositions where she was asked provocative and personal questions about her interactions with Greitens.

In an interview with Five on Your Side’s Casey Nolen, the woman stuck by what she’s said under oath and to Missouri lawmakers: Greitens took a semi-nude photo of her without her consent — and subjected her to sexual and physical abuse. The woman's face was not shown in the interview, nor did it use her name. 

The woman said she felt her ex-husband took advantage of her when he released secretly recorded tapes of  conversation they had to KMOV. That part of the Greitens story took center stage in Jefferson City, when newspaper publisher Scott Faughn faced sharp questions about why he delivered $120,000 to the ex-husband’s attorney.

As this all occurred, Greitens’ legal team was increasingly frustrated by not being allowed to cross-examine witnesses. Greitens has denied breaking any laws and strongly denied that he abused K.S. Committee members have become increasingly frustrated that the governor hadn't appeared before them. But on Friday, the committee, under direction of chairman, Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, issued a subpoena, ordering Greitens to appear on June 4.

Here’s what else was discussed on the show:

  • How Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker was appointed as a special prosecutor to look into Greitens’ behavior with the woman.
  • Reaction from U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill to how Greitens’ attorneys questioned the woman.
  • How some of Greitens’ legal team are attacking the chairman of the committee looking into the governor’s conduct — and how that’s stoked backlash.
  • What it means that Faughn and Watkins’ testimony convey completely different stories about why $120,000 was exchanged.

Mannies and Rosenbaum were on St. Louis on the Air on Friday:

Follow Jason on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jo on Twitter: @jmannies

Music: “YAH.” by Kendrick Lamar

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Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.
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