Politics

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens Resigns

Eric Greitens, pictured earlier this month, announced his resignation Tuesday as governor of Missouri. The Republican, who is facing an extramarital affair scandal and allegations of campaign finance violations, will step down effective June 1.
Eric Greitens, pictured earlier this month, announced his resignation Tuesday as governor of Missouri. The Republican, who is facing an extramarital affair scandal and allegations of campaign finance violations, will step down effective June 1.
Jeff Roberson/AP

Updated at 6:55 p.m. ET

After several months of bitter legal battles and political tussles, first-term Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says he is resigning as of June 1.

Greitens who was facing a felony charge and possible impeachment had been under investigation over allegations that he tried to dodge the state's campaign disclosure laws and to blackmail a former lover.

"This ordeal has been designed to cause an incredible amount of strain on my family; millions of dollars of mounting legal bills, endless personal attacks designed to cause maximum damage to family and friends," he said in a statement from his Jefferson City office.

Republican Lt. Gov. Mike Parson, who was elected separately, will succeed Greitens.

Prior to taking office, Greitens had pledged to root out "corrupt career politicians" but his brief 17-month tenure was plagued by scandal.

The governor's extramarital affair with his former hairdresser in 2015 made headlines just hours after Greitens' state of the state address in January. A secretly recorded conversation between the woman he'd had an affair with and her then-husband, revealed claims that Greitens had taken a compromising photo of her and was threatening to release it if she told anyone about their illicit relationship.

The recording was released by the woman's ex-husband without her knowledge and it launched a criminal investigation by authorities. Eventually, the scandal also unspooled into a separate case looking into the illegal use of a charity donor list by Greiten's campaign to raise campaign funds.

A legislative inquiry lead by the House investigative committee subpoenaed the embattled Republican and political novice on Friday, demanding he appear and testify under oath on June 4. The governor's legal team attempted to stave off the subpoena, but on Tuesday a Cole County judge ruled it could go forward.

Greitens, who has consistently denied all criminal allegations and refused to heed calls for his resignation, announced hours later that he would give up the governor's seat.

This story will be updated.

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