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Case dismissed, Gov. Greitens apologizes to family, friends, Missourians

Case dismissed, Gov. Greitens apologizes to family, friends, Missourians

Prosecutors dropped an invasion of privacy case against Greitens on Monday.

Republican House and Senate leaders in joint statements Monday said lawmakers' work is separate from the dropped felony invasion-of-privacy charge against the Republican governor.

House Speaker Todd Richardson, House Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr and House Majority Floor Leader Rob Vescovo said in a statement they're still waiting for a recommendation from a special House committee on whether to impeach Greitens.

"Once she takes the 5th Amendment, then I think it's prosecutorial suicide to be the chief law enforcement officer of your city and you're taking the 5th amendment, I don't think that's good and I don't think that looks good", said Garvey.

"At this time, I'd ask people of goodwill to come together so that all of us can continue to do good together", Greitens added.

"The court's order leaves the Circuit Attorney no adequate means of proceeding with this trial", Gardner's office said in a statement. Scott Rosenblum, one of the governor's lawyers, accused the circuit attorney of "misconduct from the beginning of this case to the end", as recently in the last week. Greitens' attorneys have accused a private attorney hired by Gardner of committing perjury.

The governor apologized for what he called "the pain that this process and my actions have caused my family, my friends, and the people of Missouri".

Prosecutors said they will make a decision later on whether to seek a special prosecutor or appoint someone to continue pursuing the case.

Missouri prosecutors have dropped their criminal case against Republican Gov. Eric Greitens, blaming a judge's ruling that the state's chief prosecutor would have to take the stand and testify in the case.

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The announcement of the dropped charges comes after nearly three whole days were spent on jury selection, which actually pushed the start of the trial back a day. Because she could not be a prosecutor and witness in the same case, she could have simply let other prosecutors take over, he said.

A spokeswoman for Gardner said the case would be refiled.

Assistant St. Louis Circuit Attorney Ronald Sullivan made the surprise announcement Monday in court after the third day of jury selection in Greitens' trial.

A forensic expert has examined a cellphone used by the governor and has not found evidence of the nude photo. Instead, attorneys were still working through the first phase of jury selection as Greitens' attorneys methodically questioned people about their beliefs. But his attorneys have been trying to exclude those who may have difficulty setting aside their opinions. The governor has repeatedly denied any criminal wrongdoing and dismissed widespread, bipartisan calls for his resignation. Dan Brown, a Republican who was one of just four senators not to sign a petition calling for the special session on disciplining the governor. We owe it to Missourians to have a fair and thorough investigation of the facts.

"The dismissal of the felony invasion of privacy charge does not change the facts that have been revealed to the Missouri House of Representative's Special Investigative Committee on Oversight".

Greitens has maintained his innocence of any crimes and panned the investigations into his conduct as a "political witch hunt".

The House investigatory panel amped up its probe into Greitens on Tuesday. She has said Greitens threatened to disseminate the photo if she spoke of their encounter but later told her he had deleted it.

The married woman has claimed that he threatened to release the photo if his 2015 affair became public. Prosecutors have acknowledged that they did not have the photo but left open the possibility that they would obtain it. Governor Greitens has produced no compelling reason to include the Circuit Attorney as a witness for any objective. Martin said prosecutors said they had stopped pursuing a photo.

Circuit Judge Rex Burlison said the man's party leadership role "may bring more politics than should be" to the case.