Greitens faces criminal inquiry, calls for resignation after blackmail allegations

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner will launch a criminal investigation into accusations engulfing Gov. Eric Greitens, she announced Thursday afternoon.

Greitens’ acknowledgment Wednesday of an extramarital affair — and denial of possible blackmail— shook the GOP-controlled state capital on Thursday.

While GOP legislative leaders limited their statements to expressions of concern and requests that Greitens be honest about what happened, a bipartisan chorus of senators called on Attorney General Josh Hawley, a Republican, to investigate.

In a statement, Gardner said she would launch an investigation. Her decision came shortly after Hawley’s office indicated that it lacked jurisdiction on the matter.

Greitens’ attorney, James Bennett, called the allegations “false” and said they are being advanced by the governor’s political adversaries.

Numerous Democratic lawmakers have called for Greitens to resign in the wake of the report. At least one Republican state senator says that if the allegations are true, Greitens should either resign or be impeached.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Kansas City Star

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