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Barnes: Greitens report coming this week; committee's work extended

April 9, 2018 at 11:00 p.m. | Updated April 11, 2018 at 6:42 p.m.
State Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, speaks about the special House committee investigating Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens at a press conference March 14, 2018.

The chairman of the special Missouri House committee investigating Gov. Eric Greitens' legal situation said the group still intends to release a report this week, but the committee will also continue working through the end of the session.

"Nothing has changed," Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, said in a press release Monday afternoon. "The committee will also continue working through the end of session." The legislative session ends May 18.

House Speaker Todd Richardson created the committee just days after a St. Louis grand jury indictment Feb. 22 that charged Greitens with felony invasion of privacy for reportedly taking a picture of a woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair while she was at least partly nude, in a manner where that picture could be shared with a computer.

The governor has admitted to having the affair - which isn't a crime and occurred before he had launched his campaign to become governor - but has denied doing anything criminal.

He has not commented publicly on whether he took a picture.

Barnes' announcement that the committee will continue working through the session comes after it was reported the group had received two letters. One was from three of Greitens' attorneys, asking the report be delayed until after the governor's May 14 trial.

The second letter was from now-retired St. Louis Circuit Judge Thomas Frawley, who also told the panel's members that releasing the report prior to (the) conclusion of Greitens trial would jeopardize the possibility of a fair and impartial jury.

Speaker Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, said last week,"When the committee finalizes its report, we will release it to the public."

On Monday, the Special Investigative Committee on Oversight held a 90-minute meeting in the House Human Resources office in the west end of the Capitol's basement. The panel is scheduled to meet again at noon today.

The House resolution did not limit the committee to investigating only the criminal allegations, and there are indications - although Barnes has confirmed none of them - the committee also may be investigating other issues, including his campaign's use of donor lists and emails from The Mission Continues, a charity Greitens, a former Navy Seal, founded in 2007 that aims to help veterans.

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