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Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens faces second felony charge in as many months but says he won't resign

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens is facing his second felony charge. Both criminal charges are unrelated. Here, Greitens is shown in a file photo speaking to volunteers who helped clean up after a cemetery was vandalized. (Michael Thomas/ Getty Images)

For the second time in as many months, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, a Republican, has been charged with a felony.

What happened?

On Friday, Greitens was charged with computer tampering following a state attorney general investigation into a veteran’s charity he founded. Greitens allegedly misused a veteran’s charity donor list prior to the 2016 election, according to published reports.

Next month, Greitens faces a trial over an unrelated invasion of privacy charge. Both cases are overseen by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner.

Fellow Republicans have asked Greitens to either resign or face impeachment.

A first-term governor and former Navy SEAL, Greitens has denied all wrongdoing and has said he will remain in office.

The new charge stems from Greitens’ alleged use of a donor list belonging to a charity called The Mission Continues. He founded the charity in 2007 as a way to link veterans with volunteer opportunities in their communities.

Computer tampering is a class D felony in Missouri and carries a prison term of up to four years.

In 2016, the Associated Press confronted Greitens with evidence that his campaign used the donor list to raise money, an allegation Grietens continues to deny.

Next, a complaint was filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission. That led to Greitens and his attorney stating that the list was given to his campaign in March 2015 as a donation from Daniel Laub, his campaign manager, the Kansas City Star reported. The Mission, however, has denied releasing the list.

The invasion of privacy charge alleges that Greitens took a nude photo of a woman while having an affair with her in 2015. He then allegedly threatened to release it if she exposed the relationship.

The woman’s spokeswoman, Susan Ryan, told the Star prosecutors issued Grietens a summons instead of an arrest warrant. In the coming days, he is expected to appear for a preliminary hearing, booking and arraignment.

Grietens also face an ongoing investigation by a Missouri House committee, which released a report last week that alleges "sexual coercion, physical violence and blackmail by the woman with whom Greitens had the affair.”

How has he responded?

Greitens denies all of the allegations and released the following statement Friday in defense of his work with the charity:

Two months ago, a prosecutor brought a case against me.

She claimed she had evidence of a crime — but she’s produced none.

She said her investigator would find the truth. Instead, her investigator lied under oath and created false evidence. And she is using thousands and thousands of taxpayer dollars to do all of this.

Her case is falling apart so today, she’s brought a new one.

By now, everyone knows what this is: this prosecutor will use any charge she can to smear me.

Thank goodness for the Constitution and our court system. In the United States of America, you’re innocent until proven guilty. In the United States of America, you get your day in court.

And when I have my day in court, I will clear my name. People will know the truth.

The latest charge is about my work at the Mission Continues. When I came home from Iraq after service as a Navy SEAL, I started the Mission Continues to help veterans. In the seven years I ran that organization, we helped thousands of veterans, won national awards for excellence, and became one of the finest veteran’s charities in the country. Those were some of the best years of my life, and I am grateful every day for the chance to help the men and women I served with.

I stand by that work. I will have my day in court. I will clear my name. This prosecutor can come after me with everything she's got, but as all faithful people know: in time comes the truth. And the time for truth is coming.

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