|"Family values" GOP Gov. Greitens accused of adultery and revenge porn blackmail|
Time and time again over the years this blog has existed, there has been a cavalcade of "family values" Republicans caught in gay sex trysts (or in the case of former Speaker Dennis Hastert, sexual abuse), adultery scandals, and other sexual improprieties. In the same interval, only a small handful of Democrats, if that number, have been swept up in sex scandals. Now, the adultery and alleged blackmail scandal swirling around Missouri GOP governor Eric Greitens - he purportedly tied up his mistress naked and photographed her and then told her that he would spread the photos if she ever revealed their affair - is becoming so bad that his fellow Republicans are calling on him to resign from office. At least one episode of physical abuse is alleged to have occurred. So much for true family values. Here are highlights from Talking Points Memo:
Four Republican Missouri lawmakers have called for Gov. Eric Greitens (R) to step down over allegations that he attempted to blackmail a woman with whom he carried out a 2015 affair.
Reps. Kathy Conway, Marsha Haefner, Steve Cookson and Nate Walker separately issued statements Tuesday urging Greitens to leave office to avoid dragging his state into a protracted, messy scandal.
Walker’s call for the governor’s resignation is particularly significant since he was one of Greitens’ earliest supporters. . . . Former Missouri GOP chairman Ed Martin also called for Greitens to step down on his talk radio show on AM 1380 Tuesday afternoon, saying “the people deserve better.”
A longtime GOP operative in the state told TPM that, based on his conversations with sources in the State House, he expects the number of Republicans calling for the governor to step down will be “up to 10 trickling in through the day.”
“I think people are believing that there’s more things to come out—that if he did tie her up, the likelihood of another incident or something, in their minds, is higher.”
Greitens is accused of tying the woman to a piece of exercise equipment in the basement of his home and taking a nude photograph of her, then threatening to leak the photo if she went public about the affair.
Greitens acknowledged last week that he engaged in an extramarital affair, but has denied the blackmail and slapping allegations.
“The current scandal is believable given all the other stuff that’s gone on, the way he treats the press, the way he treats other Republican lawmakers,” Dave Robertson, head of the political science department at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, told TPM.
The Missouri Republican operative told TPM that GOP members of the state’s House of Representatives will meet Tuesday afternoon to discuss next steps, and are leaning towards launching their own investigation into Greitens’ alleged behavior.
City of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner announced last week that she had launched a criminal probe. Al Watkins, an attorney for the woman’s ex-husband, told TPM he’d been contacted by Gardner’s office and the FBI.
Greitens and his wife, Sheena, made a round of calls to GOP lawmakers last week insisting that no further allegations would come out.