Last Updated on August 3, 2020
A St. Louis judge ordered the office of Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner to turn over records and communications related to the 2018 investigation of former Governor Eric Greitens, in a major victory for legal transparency activists.
John Solomon, founder of Just The News, had previously filed a sunshine law request for the records in July of 2019.
According to Just The News, the request query “sought the release of roughly two and a half years’ worth of communications between Gardner, her staff, and numerous individuals such as George Soros, the Missouri Workforce Housing Association, state Representatives Stacy Newman and Jay Barnes, and others.”
Gardner refused to acknowledge the sunshine request until it became an unavoidable topic of public conversation, at which point she claimed the requested records were exempt from being turned over according to Missouri transparency provisions.
Judge Christopher McGraugh ruled in favor of Solomon on Thursday, scoring a major victory for Greitens. Under the judge’s order, the Circuit Attorney’s office is now required to turn over the documents.
Gardner’s office immediately indicated that it would try to to appeal Judge McGraugh’s ruling.
Speaking about the ruling on Thursday, Greitens said, “For over a year now [Gardner] has ignored the law, and finally the judge demanded that she turn over her communications.”
Greitens’ legal team has long alleged that powerful political donors had wanted the then-Governor deposed, and succeeded in that effort when Gardner filed invasion of privacy charges against Greitens in 2018, forcing Greitens to resign.
The purported photographic evidence against Greitens never surfaced, and the case was ultimately dismissed. In 2019, the private investigator Gardner hired to dig up evidence against Greitens was indicted on charges of perjury and evidence tampering.
Among the figures rumored to be personally involved in the campaign to remove Greitens was billionaire donor and hedge fund manager George Soros, who is now purchasing television ads for Kim Gardner’s 2020 re-election campaign.
In related news, a motion filed by Mark and Patricia McCloskey – who Gardner charged with felony weapons violations in July after they brandished weapons to repel a Black Lives Matter mob from their property – revealed that Gardner’s re-election campaign had used the McCloskeys as fundraising bait in email blasts days before charges were actually filed.