US governor may have committed felony crime: official

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, pictured in 2017, may have committed a felony by using a charity's donor list without permission to raise funds for his 2016 campaign
AFP

Chicago (AFP) – Missouri’s Republican governor, Eric Greitens, faced new legal challenges Tuesday as he fights calls for his resignation over a sex scandal involving a former mistress.

The state’s attorney general alleged that Greitens may have committed a felony by using a charity’s donor list without permission to raise funds for his 2016 campaign.

“If proven, these acts could amount to the unauthorized taking and use of property, in this case, electronic property,” Attorney General Josh Hawley said at a news conference.

“Under Missouri law, this is known as computer tampering. And given the value of the list in question, it is a felony,” he said. 

The charity at the center of the allegation is The Mission Continues, which helps US military veterans adjust to civilian life. 

Greitens, a military veteran himself, started the charity in 2007 and left it in 2014.

The governor called the allegations “ridiculous.”

Greitens is already facing calls for his resignation or possible impeachment stemming from an extramarital affair and accusations that he tried to blackmail his mistress with a nude photograph he took of her.

He is scheduled to go on trial next month on a felony invasion of privacy charge arising from the alleged blackmail attempt.

An investigative report released last week by the Republican-controlled state legislature accused Greitens of abusive behavior toward his mistress. The report was considered the first step towards possible impeachment.  

The governor has denied the allegations and said he had engaged in a consensual affair that was a private mistake but did not amount to any official wrongdoing.

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