Writing for the Federalist, an influential online magazine, Dave Grossman makes a highly detailed case that Kim Gardner, the St. Louis circuit attorney who is prosecuting Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, “could be the one who ends up in jail.”
Grossman cites any number of incidents that amount to “legal comedy”: At the initial hearing the prosecution admitted that it did not have evidence enough to win a conviction; then the prosecution admitted to the defense that it did not have the photo that allegedly justified the indictment; and finally, the prosecution recruited to its team a fellow who was serving as a defense attorney elsewhere, a criminal violation.
Says Grossman of Gardner, “She has no victim, very little evidence, no legal standing–and given all that, almost no hope of conviction.” Grossman quotes a high-level, Missouri law enforcement officer who has called this “a clown show prosecution,” an opinion that is apparently normative in law enforcement circles.
Grossman lists five new facts that together tell the story of “a seemingly malicious and reckless prosecution driven by politics, ignorance, and ego, rather than a pursuit of justice”:
1. It appears that Gardner began preparing the paperwork for the indictment prior to conducting any investigation. Based on time stamps it appears that Gardner began the paper work on the indictment 20 days before her investigation began.
2. Gardner allegedly broke the law in the course of her prosecution. As the Sentinel reported on Wednesday, Gardner hired Harvard Law prof Ronald Sullivan for $12,000 a month. Greitens’s lawyers allege in a motion to disqualify Sullivan that when Sullivan signed the contract he committed a misdemeanor offense, “and Gardner became party to a crime.”
3. Gardner’s assistant prosecutor allegedly misled the grand jury about the indictment. Greitens’s defense lawyers allege that assistant prosecutor Robert Steele gave the grand jurors a “false and misleading” statement about the nature of the crime charged.
4. Gardner’s investigators were under FBI investigation. Grossman finds it odd that Gardner hired private investigators to look into a case involving a sitting governor, odder still that the lead investigator was himself once the subject of an FBI investigation.
5. Even the chief of police of St. Louis is demanding answers. Police Chief John Hayden publicly challenged Gardner on the suggestion that the police had shirked its investigatory duty. Said Hayden, “It makes me frustrated because it’s as if she’s saying I failed to do something I’m supposed to do here, and that’s not the case at all. To date, nobody has tried to report this to the police department.”
Concludes Grossman, If Gardner “sees the inside of a jail cell or watches her bank account go to zero because of her actions against the governor, then she will simply reap what she has sowed.”