St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s office entered into agreement with lawyer Al Watkins on Wednesday to prevent “undue publicity” regarding grand jury proceedings related to her criminal investigation of Gov. Eric Greitens, sources familiar with the case told The Star.
The goal, the sources said, is to conduct a thorough investigation without pressure of publicity that could intimidate witnesses out of cooperating with law enforcement.
Watkins discussed the matter in court Wednesday in a conversation with the circuit attorney’s office and a judge in chambers.
Watkins represents the man whose ex-wife had an affair with Greitens in 2015. The man released a secretly recorded conversation with his ex-wife in which she claimed that Greitens took a compromising photo of her as potential blackmail if she spoke about the relationship.
Greitens has admitted to the affair but denies the blackmail allegations. The woman involved in the matter has requested privacy, and the secretly recorded conversation with her ex-husband was released to the media without her consent.
Gardner’s office launched a criminal investigation into the accusations shortly after they became public.
Since the story broke last month, Watkins has regularly spoken with the media. He told CNN that he turned over his client’s recordings to the FBI, and began representing another client claims he was also interviewed by the FBI about Greitens.
Earlier this week, Watkins issued a press release notifying the press that his client had been subpoenaed to testify before a St. Louis grand jury.
Reached for comment Wednesday afternoon, Watkins said in an email that witnesses who testify before a grand jury are prohibited from divulging information about the grand jury.
James Bennett, Greitens’ lawyer, said earlier this week that no law enforcement agent has contacted the governor or his legal team. He added that claims to the contrary are emanating from “a private lawyer representing multiple people attacking the governor.”