EDITORIAL NOTE: This article will depict graphic sexual details. Reader discretion is advised.
Testimony before an internal investigative committee in Missouri's Republican-led House indicates that the accuser against Governor Eric Greitens (R-Mo.) alleges he sexually assaulted her. The investigation will inform the Republican-dominated state whether or not to pursue impeachment proceedings against the governor, elected in 2016.
The testimony detailed in the report states that Greitens, who alleges that all sexual encounters were consensual, forced the woman to perform oral sex upon him by thrusting his genitals in her face. The basis of the criminal charges against the governor is limited to his taking an unauthorized photo of the accuser, who claims that he used it to blackmail her into maintaining her silence.
The Republican Speaker of the Missouri House gave a news conference, in which he said, "The power given to the Missouri General Assembly to take disciplinary action, or remove elected officials from office is one of the most serious and consequential powers the Constitution grants the legislature," said Speaker Todd Richardson. "We will not take that responsibility lightly. We will not act rashly, but we will not shrink from it."
Top Missouri Democrats, including Sen. Claire McCaskill are having a field day, calling on Greitens to resign the governorship amid the explosive allegations. Greitens hit back, saying, "If the committee had waited 33 days, they would have received a full set of facts. Instead, it was decided to publish an incomplete document made in secret. One that, based on the falsehoods that have been pushed from the beginning, and will be filled with lies that we now know may have come from a dream," the governor said. "In 33 days, this will all come to an end because, in the United States of America, you get your day in court."
Given that the indictment originated in liberal Saint Louis County, there has been skepticism that the escalation of charges is politically motivated. It is not clear whether the Missouri House is just in damage control mode, looking to distance themselves from the scandalous governor, or whether the allegations are indeed as bad as they sound.
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