Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R) cited his training as a Navy SEAL on Thursday in refusing to step down from office despite criminal allegations and possible impeachment proceedings against him.
Greitens, who served in the elite special operations force before beginning his political career, said during a speech that just as he overcame the desire to quit during the intensity of SEAL training, he would not buckle under the mounting political pressure against him now, The Associated Press reported.
“No matter what they throw at me, no matter how painful they try to make it, no matter how much suffering they want to put me and my family through and my team through ... we are going to step forward day after day after day, and we are going to continue in our mission to fight for the people of Missouri," he said as part of remarks about funding new Missouri biodiesel facilities.
Greitens allegedly took photos of a woman he had an extramarital affair with, without her consent, and threatened to blackmail her with them.
Missouri Republicans previously cited the embattled governor's SEAL training in a letter to President Trump urging him to demand Greitens's resignation, saying Greitens was taught to "never surrender, never walk away from a fight," but to also "always obey his commander in chief."
Earlier this week, one of Greitens's major legal headaches lifted, at least temporarily, when St. Louis prosecutors dropped their felony invasion-of-privacy charge against him.
The prosecutors' Monday announcement came as jury selection for the trial had just begun, when Greitens's attorneys threatened to summon the attorney that filed the felony charge to testify in court.
The New York Times reported that the St. Louis circuit attorney's office will ask the court to appoint a special prosecutor to refile the case.
But Greitens still faces possible removal from office, as lawmakers will gather Friday for a special session of the state legislature to investigate the charges against him and consider impeachment proceedings.
Greitens also stands accused of illegal campaign actions related to his sharing of a private donor list from a charity he founded at a 2015 political fundraiser before his election in 2016.