Twice-indicted Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens knowingly lied to state officials about his role in obtaining a donor list from the veterans’ charity he founded, a former campaign aide claimed in testimony released Wednesday.
The former aide, Danny Laub, also said he was tricked by Greitens’ team into taking the fall for how the donor list came into the campaign’s possession.
Laub’s testimony was given last month to investigators with the office of the Missouri Attorney General, which has been probing the issue. It was released publicly as part of a Missouri House committee report.
In April 2017, Greitens and his campaign lawyer signed a consent decree with the state ethics commission saying that it had received the Greitens’ donor list as an in-kind contribution from Laub in March 2015. The campaign agreed to pay a $100 fine.
But Laub testified that he didn’t give the campaign the list. And he said Greitens’ aides tricked him into taking the blame for acquiring the list from the Mission Continues and passing it along to the 2016 gubernatorial campaign. Laub said that when he agreed to have his name on the consent decree, he thought it meant only “that I was the manager of the campaign at the time or in charge of the campaign at the time.”
The legislative committee’s report appeared to endorse Laub’s view, concluding: “In fact, however, the list was not an in-kind contribution from Danny Laub.”
Instead, it was sent to Laub and fellow former advisor Michael Hafner by Greitens’ then-executive assistant Krystal Proctor “at Greitens’ direction,” the report states.
Greitens’ pivotal role in the list’s transmission was included in the felony charging document filed against Greitens in April by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner The document said that both Greitens and Proctor knew the list “was taken without the permission of The Mission Continues,” a claim the charity has made consistently.
Proctor testified to the House committee that “there was no confusion” that Laub and Hafner were going to use the list she provided for “political fundraising.” Both men testified that they did so.
Laub served as Greitens’ campaign manager at the start of Greitens’ bid for governor. He was elected in 2016.
Laub testified that every detail included in the consent degree Greitens’ certified as “complete, true, and accurate,” as well as the amended campaign disclosure his campaign filed, was a lie.
The situation made him “sick,” Laub testified, lamenting his role in a “round of news stories falsely portraying what happened.”
Michael Adams, Greitens’ campaign attorney, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in a statement: “Any notion that the campaign — through an adviser, an attorney, or anyone else — would intentionally mislead the ethics commission is simply false.”
The 23-page House report focuses on allegations of wrongdoing by the first-term Republican governor. A previous report compiled by the Republican-led, seven-person committee focused on blackmail allegations against the governor. It contained graphic testimony from Greitens’ ex-lover, who claimed Greitens slapped her on multiple occasions and coerced her into sexual activity while she wept.
By the time the report came out, the governor already faced a separate felony invasion of privacy charge related to allegations he took a nonconsensual nude photo of the woman with the intent to transmit it.
Greitens has denied the allegations of blackmail, computer tampering, sexual coercion and violence. He has acknowledged engaging in an extramarital affair with the woman.
The governor has attacked the GOP-dominated House committee, Democratic St. Louis attorney, and Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley for their investigations, claiming they’re engaged in a “witch hunt” to destroy his career.
Greitens’ trial is slated to begin on May 14 in St. Louis.