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Greitens accuses Gardner of hiding evidence

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is accusing St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner of purposefully hiding evidence until after release of a legislative committee report that prompted widespread calls for his resignation.

Attorneys for the Republican governor on Thursday asked a St. Louis judge to dismiss a criminal indictment against Greitens. They accused Democratic Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner of misconduct for withholding a videotaped interview of a woman with whom he had an affair in 2015.

Prosecutors who initially claimed the recorder malfunctioned finally shared a copy Wednesday night. Greitens says in a statement that Gardner “purposefully” hid the video until after Wednesday’s release of a House committee report in which the woman alleged that Greitens initiated an aggressive, unwanted sexual encounter.

Defense attorneys say the videotaped interview offers proof that the encounter was consensual.

An attorney for the woman declined comment, citing a gag order in the criminal case.

Judge Rex Burlison made no immediate ruling.

The full Thursday statement from Gov. Greitens is below:

We told you yesterday afternoon that the House report would be incomplete. It was.

We told people that they needed to see all the evidence. And now, we have proof that Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner and her team hid evidence from the people of Missouri and from the Missouri House of Representatives—evidence that undermined the narrative pushed in the House report.

Kim Gardner hid a video that she knew directly contradicted allegations in the House report, and she allowed her lead investigator to lie about it, under oath.

Just last night—as false stories were being pushed to press—the prosecutor turned over a videotape of her interview with the woman. This was evidence that the prosecutor was legally required to turn over months ago. She purposefully kept it hidden until one hour after the false report was released.

The House report contained explosive, hurtful allegations of coercion, violence, and assault. They are false. Those allegations can be refuted with facts. Despite the Circuit Attorney’s attempts to keep it from the people of Missouri, we have video evidence that contains some of those facts.

In the video, the woman talks for almost two hours, and never once mentions any coercion. In the House report, there is a false allegation that I slapped the woman. That allegation had been made once before, and it was disproven. The story changed, so I will say again: it did not happen. On this new video, she says that when this story broke in the media, she asked her two friends if they ever remembered her talking about a slap, and they both said “No.” The witness claimed to the House that she was coerced into sexual activity on the morning of March 21st. This is inconsistent with her statements in the video interview with the Circuit Attorney.

The report that was put out last night did not contain this evidence, and the allegations in that report will refuted by facts, including this video, depositions, discovery, and other evidence that will be subjected to the rigors of a courtroom analysis. In 32 days, a court of law and a jury of my peers will let every person in Missouri know the truth and prove my innocence.

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