Prosecutors drop case against Greitens, seek special prosecutor to refile

Prosecutors drop case against Greitens, seek special prosecutor to refile
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Prosecutors on Monday dropped their case against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R) for felony invasion of privacy just as jury selection had gotten underway in the trial. 

Multiple news outlets reported that the move came after Greitens’s legal team indicated they would call St. Louis circuit attorney Kim Gardner — who announced the charges against the governor — as a witness.

“The court’s order leaves the circuit attorney no adequate means of proceeding with this trial,” a spokeswoman for Gardner told The New York Times.

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The Times reported that Gardner’s office will ask the court to appoint a special prosecutor who would then refile the case.

Greitens faced a felony invasion of privacy charge stemming from allegations that he threatened to release a nude photo of a woman he was having an affair with if she revealed their relationship.

Greitens has admitted to the affair, but disputed claims he blackmailed the woman. He has vowed that he'd be vindicated in the court process.

Meanwhile, state lawmakers have called for a special session that will convene on Friday to consider impeachment proceedings against the governor.

State lawmakers previously released a report that found credible allegations that Greiteins coerced the woman into giving him oral sex.

In addition to the blackmail allegations, Greiteins is accused of improperly obtaining a donor list from a charity and then lying about it.

Greitens, once considered a rising star in the Republican Party, has been under siege in recent weeks.

Numerous state lawmakers, including the Republican leaders of both chambers of the state legislature, have called for the governor to resign and pledged to move forward with impeachment proceedings if he refuses.

Attorney General Josh Hawley (R), who is running to unseat Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in this November's midterm elections, has also called for Greitens to step down. 

Greitens has been defiant, vowing to remain in office and launching attacks at those who have called for his resignation.

He blasted Gardner as a “reckless liberal” after the charges were filed and has since accused her of hiding evidence that would help his case. 

Greitens’s lawyers also alleged that Hawley tainted the investigation into the charity donor list by calling for the governor to resign based on the sexual misconduct allegations. Hawley’s office had been investigating the matter since February.