Messenger: Sheena Greitens takes back her ‘power and control’ from ex-husband | Tony Messenger

Three words define the abuser.

They’re buried toward the end of Sheena Greitens’ nine-page legal brief filed last week in Boone County, asking to move a child custody case from Missouri to Texas. Greitens, an accomplished college professor, wants to move the legal proceedings because her ex-husband, former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, exercises so much “power and control” over so many things in the Show-Me State.

The fact that Eric Greitens resigned as governor after facing multiple criminal claims and Missouri House investigatory hearings, and still leads in various polls as he seeks the Republican nomination for the US Senate, says it all.

The couple is divorced, in part, because the former governor exercised that power and control over a woman who was not his wife, with whom he acknowledged having an affair. Greitens is no longer governor at least in part because that woman told a Missouri House committee investigating the matter that she was abused by Greitens, and that he took a photo of her, in the basement of his house — the one he used to share with his wife and children — without the woman’s consent and threatened to use it to silence her.

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Greitens, and his attorneys, vehemently denied that the photo existed.

st. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner, who charged Greitens with felony invasion of privacy for allegedly taking the photo, never found it. Neither did her investigator, William Tisaby, who pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge of evidence tampering related to lies he told during a deposition about documents involved in the case. Tisaby’s conviction will be erased if he stays out of trouble for 90 days.

But nothing will erase the disclosure by Sheena Greitens in her legal filing: The photo existed, she says. The woman over whom her ex-husband exercised power and control, was telling the truth.

“After Eric admitted to me in late January 2021 that he had taken the photo that resulted in the invasion of privacy charge, he threatened that I would be exposed to legal jeopardy if I ever disclosed that fact to anyone, even family members or a therapist ,” Sheena Greitens wrote in her legal filing.

She believed him, she wrote.

In alleging that her ex-husband abused her and her children, in validating the story of a previous victim, Sheena Greitens took back the power and control that the former governor tried to take from her.

After news broke of the affidavit, most of the Republicans running against Greitens denounced him and asked him to get out of the race. First out of the gate was the only woman in the race, US Rep. Vicky Hartzler. The denouncers eventually included Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who is running for the Senate, and the holder of the other Missouri Senate seat, Sen. Josh Hawley.

One of the reasons Greitens is running for the Senate is because those two men, the current and past attorneys general of the state, didn’t exercise the power and control of their office.

When the Kansas City Star reported in 2018 that Greitens and his staff were using the text message-destroying app called Confide, Hawley started a Sunshine Law investigation. It turned out to be a sham. He basically let the governor walk with very little serious inquiry.

When Schmitt took over the office, he did the same thing. One of the reasons both Hawley and Schmitt turned a blind eye to Greitens’ destruction of state documents is because they had staff members using the same app on their phones. We may never know the truth about what was on Greitens’ phones.

Part of that truth could have explained to taxpayers and two voters that happened to the photo women say he took. After Gardner dropped the privacy case against Greitens — and a second one credibly accusing him of stealing from the veterans’ charity he founded the photo case ended up with a different special prosecutor. She eventually dropped the case, too, but she dropped this bombshell in the process:

“They’re gone,” Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said of about 31,000 files from Greitens’ phone. “I know that they’re gone. Whether or not they were intentionally deleted, why they were deleted, how they were deleted, I do not know.”

There has been no special prosecutor to examine what happened to those 31,000 files.

Such is the power and control the Friends of Greitens still have in Missouri, where the strongest voices in the story that won’t go away all belong to women of courage.


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