Talking Points Memo reports:
A woman who carried out a 2015 affair with Gov. Eric Greitens (R) accused him of coercing her into unwanted sexual contact while she wept on the floor of his basement, according to testimony included in a highly-anticipated Missouri House committee report released Wednesday evening.
The 25-page report includes graphic, disturbing claims about a March 2015 encounter at Greitens’ St. Louis home. According to the woman, Greitens held her down in a “bear hug,” fondling her while she wept “uncontrollably,” before pulling out his penis and putting it near her face.
The woman said she proceeded to give him oral sex because she thought “that would allow me to leave” and feared for her “physical self.” In addition to these shocking new claims, the woman testified about previously surfaced allegations that Greitens slapped her and threatened to blackmail her with a nude photo that he took of her without her consent.
The Kansas City Star reports:
Missouri’s Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley, a leading candidate for U.S. Senate, is calling on his state’s GOP governor to “resign immediately.” While many Missouri Republicans are calling for Greitens to resign, few have gone as far as Hawley and flatly called the details of the report “impeachable.”
As the state’s attorney general and the Republican Party’s leading candidate for the U. S. Senate campaign this fall, Hawley’s call for resignation is a devastating blow to Greitens’ chance to survive the scandal.
Hawley is the frontrunner to challenge Sen. Claire McCaskill in November. She’s considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the U.S. Senate and Hawley was heavily recruited by Republicans to take her on.
In a press conference an hour before the report’s release, Greitens was defiant against calls for his resignation and said the report signed by five Republicans and two Democrats would include “lies and falsehoods.” He repeatedly called it a “political witch hunt,” mimicking President Donald Trump’s complaints about the ongoing investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 campaign.
Greitens wanted lawmakers to wait for the conclusion of his May trial for felony invasion of privacy to conduct their investigation. If Greitens refuses to step down, Senate Minority Leader Gina Walsh, D-St. Louis County, said the Missouri House should move forward with impeachment. Republicans in both chambers discussed the report at caucus meetings across town at the headquarters of the Missouri Farm Bureau. Many didn’t return to the Statehouse or respond to requests for comment.
Republicans plan to call a special session on impeachment if Greitens continues to refuse to resign.