Attorneys for Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens have asserted that a lengthy deposition of a woman with whom he had an extramarital affair would bolster his defense that their relationship was consensual not criminal.
Yet Greitens' attorneys apparently have been reluctant to allow a copy of the deposition to be turned over to a House investigatory committee weighing whether to try to impeach and remove Greitens from office.
Records obtained by The Associated Press show the House issued a subpoena for the women's deposition April 18.
In a previously unpublicized court filing dated Tuesday, attorneys representing the House said lawyers for the woman and St. Louis prosecutor's office have agreed to comply with the subpoena but Greitens' attorneys wanted more time to think about it.
A spokesman for Greitens' defense team had no immediate comment Friday about whether the defense lawyers would agree to release the deposition to the House panel, which ultimately could require approval from the judge in Greitens' criminal case.
House investigatory committee chairman Rep. Jay Barnes said Friday that Greitens' attorneys have "refused to provide it to the committee in a timely manner." "If a defendant says something helps him, but refuses to turn it over, a fact-finder can assume the facts actually hurt the defendant," Barnes said in a written statement.
The April 6 deposition of the woman identified in court filings only as K.S. was taken in preparation for Greitens' May 14 trial on an invasion-of-privacy charge. Greitens is accused of taking and transmitting a nonconsensual photo of the at least partially nude woman in March 2015, before he was elected.
Two days after her deposition, Greitens attorneys released brief excerpts in which the woman seemed to express doubts about her memories of seeing Greitens with a camera on the day in which she says she was bound and blindfolded in the basement of his St. Louis home.
The House investigatory committee subsequently published a report containing separate testimony from the woman in which she affirmed that Greitens took a photo of her while she was bound, blindfolded and unclothed and threatened her to remain silent about their encounter.
The House report, which found the woman's testimony credible, also included allegations that Greitens had spanked, slapped and shoved the woman during a series of sexual encounters that at times left her crying and afraid.
In St. Louis Circuit Court on April 12, Greitens' attorneys argued that the woman was "not a victim" but rather "a willing participant" and asserted that depositions taken in the criminal case "completely rebut and disputes the conclusions of this House committee report." This week's court filing by the House said Greitens' attorneys had provided excerpts of the woman's deposition to the House panel on April 17 but nothing more. "This committee seeks the whole truth, not a cherry-picked version of it," Barnes said. Separately, a judge ruled Friday that an attorney for the woman's ex-husband must submit to a deposition next week about the source of a $100,000 payment he received to help cover the man's legal fees.
Attorney Al Watkins had said earlier this week that his firm received two anonymous $50,000 payments in January, just before Greitens admitted to the affair. The invasion of privacy investigation began after Watkins released the ex-husband's secretly recorded audio conversation in which his former wife accused Greitens of taking the photo.
Watkins' attorney, Chuck Hatfield, said at Friday's hearing that an unnamed client of Watkins was involved in providing the money. Defense attorneys have speculated that a "political operative" paid to persuade the man to come forward. St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison said the source of the money could be relevant. "If it was given by a GoFundMe, that's different than if it was given by a political operative," the judge said.