Ding, dong, the Republican Governor of Missouri’s political career is finally dead.
Eric Greitens was a conservative hero and former Navy SEAL who was accused of taping up and blindfolding a woman he was having an affair with so that he could take humiliating pictures to use as blackmail. He’s now officially stepping down in response to numerous investigations into his actions.
Greitens, a self-professed “family man” who is married, admitted earlier this year that he had an affair — but he has continued to deny claims that he threatened to blackmail the woman in question. Then, earlier this month, we learned that he was on the verge of being impeached by the state legislature, which is mostly made up of fellow Republicans, due to two separate official investigations looking into his potentially unlawful conduct.
It turns out they won’t get a chance to impeach Greitens, because he’s quitting.
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R) announced Tuesday that he would resign from office, avoiding the conclusion of a state House committee considering whether to pursue impeachment proceedings against him.
“For the moment, let us walk off the battlefield with our heads held high,” the governor said in a brief statement at a press conference in Jefferson City.
Greitens said that his resignation is effective at the end of the day on Friday, saying there was “no end in sight” to his opponents’ efforts to remove him from office.
Of course, the conservative politician who ran a campaign based on “family values” and ethics reform couldn’t take the high road on his way out of office. In fact, he said the criminal investigations into him — including one for purported charity fraud — amounted to “legal harassment.” He also deflected from the alleged crimes, focusing instead on personal attacks against him. (Sound familiar?)
“I know, and people of good faith know that I am not perfect, but I have not broken any laws or committed any offense worthy of this treatment,” he said.
“This ordeal has been designed to cause an incredible amount of strain on my family,” Greitens said, echoing previous claims that his prosecutors were politically motivated. “It’s clear that for the forces that oppose us, there is no end in sight.”
Sure, there was an end in sight. It just seemed like all the evidence pointed in a direction Greitens didn’t like. To argue that this was politically motivated is to ignore the fact that there was a real woman who had accused him of these things, and her story has held up to scrutiny for the past several months.
Greitens’ story isn’t exactly typical in modern American politics because he’s a conservative Jew — as opposed to a conservative Christian — who is being investigated for sexual misdeeds. However the rest of the script was fairly typical: The religious politician who wears faith on his sleeve and is later caught in a sex scandal of his own making.
Missouri voters should think twice before electing someone like that ever again. The louder they tell you they’re devout family men, the more you should question it.
(Image via Shutterstock)