FBI opens inquiry into Missouri GOP governor accused of blackmailing his partner in adulterous affair
The FBI has opened an inquiry into Missouri GOP Gov. Eric Greitens, CNN reports.
The probe comes as Greitens attempts to weather accusations he blackmailed a woman with whom he’s admitted to having an extramarital affair, CNN reports.
According to CNN, Eli Karabell—a former volunteer on Greitens’ transition team—says he was interviewed by the FBI in November 2017. He did not offer details of the FBI’s investigation, nor did he know whether it was related to Greitens’ affair. The FBI, meanwhile, would not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation.
“It is the long-standing policy of the US Department of Justice that the FBI does not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation,” an FBI spokeswoman said.
Meanwhile, James Bennett, a lawyer for Greitens, said the Missouri governor “has not been contacted at any time by the FBI.”
“We are not aware of any interest by the FBI in this personal matter that took place years ago,” Bennett said.
News of the FBI’s inquiry comes as Greitens pushes back against allegations he tried to blackmail a woman he had an affair with in 2015. Audio recorded by the woman’s now-ex-husband purports to depict the woman accusing Greitens of threatening to share a nude photo of her without her consent if she told people about their affair.
“He said: ‘I’ll make you feel better. I’ll make you feel good. Come downstairs. I want to show you how to do a proper pull-up,’” she said in the audio. “And I knew he was being sexual and I still let him. And he used some sort of tape, I don’t what it was, and taped my hands to these rings and then put a blindfold on me.”
“He stepped back, I saw a flash through the blindfold and he said, ‘you’re never going to mention my name,’ otherwise there will be pictures of me everywhere,” she added.
Greitens admitted to the affair, but denied allegations of blackmail.