During a press conference on Tuesday morning, Attorney General Josh Hawley announced that he is seeking "computer tampering" charges against Gov. Eric Greitens. "AG Hawley's public statements demonstrate that he understands that by calling for Gov. Greitens to resign, he has predetermined the guilt of his own investigative target and his investigation now is clearly compromised".
In a court hearing Monday in Greitens felony invasion-of-privacy case, Chief Trial Assistant Robert Dierker admitted that the actions of William Tisaby have "created a awful appearance" and given the false impression that the prosecutor's office hid evidence, including delaying handing over notes and a videotape from depositions.
The Missouri Constitution says officials can be impeached "for crimes, misconduct, habitual drunkenness, willful neglect of duty, corruption in office, incompetency, or any offense involving moral turpitude or oppression in office".
Dowd said he wants a rapid response from Hawley, who is seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democrat Claire McCaskill.
Greitens already faces a felony invasion-of-privacy charge in St. Louis for allegedly taking and transmitting a nonconsensual photo of a partially nude woman with whom Greitens said he had an extramarital affair. He said his office has shared its information with St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, and with a special House investigatory committee that is investigating the governor. Dowd argued that the attorney general's investigation of veterans charity The Mission Continues is compromised because of that.
A spokeswoman for the attorney general's office did not immediately comment.
A growing number of Missouri elected officials have called on Greitens to step down over allegations of unwanted sexual aggression against a woman with whom he has said he had a consensual extramarital affair in 2015. Attorney general spokeswoman Mary Compton said that's not related to Hawley's investigation into the charity's possible violations of the state's consumer protection and charitable registration and reporting laws.
Missouri lawmakers may face an unprecedented question as they decide whether to impeach Gov. Eric Greitens: Does it matter that the alleged actions occurred before he was in office?
Dowd's letter is the latest in a spreading legal web that centers on Greitens facing a felony invasion of privacy count in a jury trial set for May 14. But Republican legislative leaders insist they won't let strife in the governor's office derail work to pass a budget and enact other policy changes.