Although she died more than 30 years after her boss Richard Nixon left office, the New York Times reminded its readers in the first sentence of her obituary that Rose Mary Woods “was at the center of one of the great mysteries of Watergate after 18 1/2 minutes of a crucial White House tape were erased.”
It is unlikely that St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner will ever achieve Rose Mary Woods status, but it will not be for want of trying. The attorneys representing Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens filed a motion on Sunday with the St. Louis Circuit Court suggesting that the comparison to Ms. Woods has some merit.
In requesting that Gardner turn over all exculpatory evidence, the defense attorneys demanded they be allowed to see all the interviews done with the woman at the heart of the controversy, the woman with whom Greitens admittedly had an affair, “K.S” as she is known in court documents. Understandably, they are looking for inconsistencies.
During a deposition on Friday, K.S. testified that Gardner and her private investigator William Tisaby had a video camera at the ready during an interview she did with them some months ago. K.S. was led to believe the interview was being video taped. Tisaby reportedly set up the camera.
“A videotape of an interview would be particularly powerful evidence for the Defendant,” the defense attorneys argued. “Its production is essential.”
Gardner, however, has not turned over a tape. According to the defense, Gardner’s office is claiming that the “the videotape machine did not work.” Prosecutors have not provided an explanation of how it could possibly have malfunctioned.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Tisaby is CEO of ENTERRA, LLC, “a provider of security/technology, intelligence, and investigative services to businesses and institutions worldwide.” Given his executive status and ten years of service with the FBI, defense attorneys expected a certain level of competence.
“If proper investigation technique was followed,” they contended, “the tape machine would have been checked before the interview started, the tape would have been marked as involving an interview of K.S. on the date at issue, and the tape would be preserved.” If the prosecution had followed any of these steps, the defense is unaware of them.
The attorneys for Greitens argued, “Defendant believes that if the St. Louis Police Department–and not an unlicensed private investigator–conducted this investigation this valuable evidence for the defense would not have been lost or destroyed.”
“Lost” speaks to incompetence. “Destroyed” speaks to obstruction of justice. No one ever accused Rose Mary Woods of incompetence. The jury is still out on Kim Gardner.