Parson to take lead as Greitens resigns

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens to resign following months of scandal

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens speaks in Palmyra Mo. Jan. 29 2018

Missouri's Republican-dominated establishment had turned against Mr. Greitens before Tuesday's announcement, saying he needed to resign for the good of the state.

Lt. Gov. Mike Parson will be sworn in as Missouri's governor after Eric Greitens resigns on Friday.

A St. Louis grand jury indicted Greitens on February 22 on one felony count of invasion of privacy for allegedly taking a photo of the woman without her consent at his home in 2015, before he was elected governor.

A felony invasion-of-privacy charge levied against him has been dropped, however a special prosecutor has been considering whether to refile it.

Greitens' administration was thrown into chaos the night of January 10, when a St. Louis TV station aired a report about Greitens allegedly taking the compromising photo and threatening to blackmail the woman if she ever spoke of their encounter. "If Mr. Greitens were convicted of this charge, it would be unlikely that he would be sentenced to prison given his first-time offender status and the type and level of the charge he face". That prompted the Missouri House to form a special investigatory committee. State Attorney General Josh Hawley, the frontrunner for the GOP senate nomination, has called for Greitens to resign.

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"In the interest of pursuing justice to its fullest lengths, we will continue until our work on the case is completed", Baker said in a statement.

"I can not comment on what Jean Peters Baker would do with the privacy of invasion case", Gardner said.

"This ordeal has been created to cause an incredible amount of strain on my family", said the defiant governor, who had repeatedly called the investigations against him a "witch hunt", borrowing a favorite phrase of President Donald Trump.

Political science professor Jeremy Walling, of Southeast Missouri State University, said Greitens' pledge to keep fighting seemed to be "some face-saving". He is accused of illegally obtaining a donor list to aid his 2016 election campaign from a veterans' charity he founded in 2007.

The woman alleges that after Greitens took the photograph, he said: "You're not going to mention my name".

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A probable cause statement said Greitens did not have permission from the charity The Mission Continues to take that list. And, she insisted of the two cases she brought against the governor, "These cases were not pursued at the expense of my office's priorities". "I'm not flawless", he said Tuesday.

On Tuesday morning, a Cole County judge ordered the campaign and a pro-Greitens group called A New Missouri to comply with a House subpoena seeking more records about potential coordination between the nonprofit organization, Greitens and his campaign.

Greitens had faced trial in early May on the invasion of privacy charge.

The governor, who also served as a White House fellow and wrote a best-selling book, entered the 2016 gubernatorial race as an outsider. Thanks in part to claims and counterclaims of misconduct and a push from Greitens' legal team to remove Gardner from the case, the whole mess got dropped into the lap of a special prosecutor from Jackson County.

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