Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens Just Resigned

A week ago, the embattled Republican blamed his scandals on “fake news.”

Laurie Skrivan/ZUMA Press

Facing allegations of sexual assault, a felony charge, and the looming threat of impeachment, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens resigned on Tuesday.

“This ordeal has been designed to cause an incredible amount of strain on my family,” Greitens said at a press conference. “It’s clear that for the forces that oppose us there is no end in sight. I cannot allow those forces to continue to cause pain and difficulty to the people that I love.”

Greitens, once considered a Republican rising star and potential future presidential contender, reiterated his previous statements that none of his conduct was illegal. “I have not broken any laws or committed any offense worthy of this treatment,” he said. “I will let the fairness of this process be judged by history.”

The announcement came a few hours after a state judge ruled that Greitens’ dark-money group, A New Missouri, had to turn over internal communications and documents to a Missouri House committee that has been investigating the governor’s conduct. The documents are expected to show “potential coordination among the nonprofit, the governor and the governor’s campaign committee, as well as expenditures related to advertising,” the Kansas City Star reports.

Since May 18, the Republican-controlled Missouri legislature has been considering potential articles of impeachment against the governor in a special session. Greitens, a first-term Republican, was the subject of two scathing reports released earlier this year by the Missouri House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight. 

Greitens still faces a state felony charge for computer tampering based on the allegations that he improperly used a donor list from his veterans charity during his political campaign.

A special prosecutor is also considering whether to file new charges in a separate case involving allegations of sexual misconduct and blackmail related to an affair between Greitens and his hairdresser in 2015. Greitens had been charged with invasion of privacy after being accused of taking a partially nude photograph of the woman and threatening to release it if she spoke about their relationship. The St. Louis prosecutor dropped the charge two weeks ago, after a state judge permitted Greitens’ defense team to call the prosecutor to testify about potential misconduct in her investigation.

Last week, Greitens released an ad blaming his travails on “fake news” (after a tabloid paid a source for details about Greitens’ affair), George Soros (for donating to the St. Louis prosecutor pursuing charges against him), and local Democratic leaders (who, along with Missouri Republican leaders, have been calling for his resignation since spring).

“For those who would be moved to vengeance, let us allow history and God to bring justice,” Greitens said in his statement. He will officially step down on Friday, June 1. 


More MotherJones reporting on Dark Money


The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.