Before we start trying in earnest to forget we ever heard of our current governor , who will be with us through close of business Friday, we must thank those who made his overdue resignation a reality.
First, Missouri lawmakers. Most Republicans and Democrats alike put partisanship aside in this if nothing else. The bipartisan House committee investigating Eric Greitens seemed as determined to proceed correctly — not easy, since a governor had never been impeached in this state — as Greitens himself was to steer with a compass that was busted, if it ever worked at all. Rep. Jay Barnes and other members of the committee he led deserved special credit for handling this difficult task with complete professionalism.
Next, the woman Greitens may yet be charged with sexually and physically abusing. Without her unsparing testimony, on a matter she only wanted to put in the past, he would not be leaving office this week.
Though not charged with any wrongdoing, she repeatedly testified under oath, and in 9 ½ hours of grilling by the governor’s lawyers, answered one question after another that was solely intended to humiliate and discourage her. Because she withstood that questioning, a man who is unfit to lead our state no longer will.
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Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley. Greitens’ fellow Republican was under unenviable cross-pressures, with some in his party furious that he did his job and referred evidence that he said indicated that the governor had broken the law. Hawley, who is running to unseat U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, also called on Greitens to resign. This was the right thing to do, even as it complicated his campaign and angered some donors and rank-and-file Republicans.
A couple of those who had a hand in Greitens’ downfall were less on the up-and-up. The ex-husband of the woman at the center of the sexual misconduct case certainly acted dishonorably in taping a conversation with her about her experience with the governor without her consent.
His attorney, Al Watkins, who peddled the initial story, along with the false but explosive detail that the initial sexual contact between the governor and his hairdresser happened while his wife was in the hospital giving birth, was perfectly cast for those who wanted to believe Greitens’ equally false claims that he was the victim of a “witch hunt.”
So, too, was St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner. In her various missteps in the handling of the dropped felony invasion of privacy case against Greitens, she very nearly flailed and bumbled her way to helping him survive. It’s in spite of Gardner rather than thanks so her that he’s leaving office.