Greitens’ campaign off to a great start after conservative hosts asks about ‘half-rape’ allegation

In June 2018, the young GOP governor of Missouri, Eric Greitens, best known for mowing down trees with a high-caliber assault weapon during his elections campaign ads, was forced to resign in disgrace. Greitens’ former hairdresser, with whom Greitens had been carrying on an extramarital affair, accused the then-governor of sexual assault, battery, kidnapping, and blackmail. Greitens was indicted on two charges of first-degree felony invasion of privacy and a completely unrelated charge of computer tampering. Greitens had come into office on the Trump-train, bullying and angry and with such a high regard for himself that it took a Missouri GOP willing to impeach Greitens—after releasing a damning report supporting the credibility of the woman Greitens allegedly brutalized—and months of intra-party fighting before he agreed to resign. Greitens’ agreement to leave office without completely blowing up his political party seemed to include a resolution of the computer tampering charges, which were promptly dropped.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker subsequently declined to bring a full case against Greitens for the sexual assault and other charges stemming out of the extramarital affair he had with his former hairdresser. The charges alleged Greitens tied up his former hairdresser and took compromising photographs of the woman, which he then threatened to expose her with. Greitens also reportedly coerced the victim into oral sex and “struck her.” At the time, Baker said that while “there was probable cause for sexual assault,” the statute of limitations had passed on some of the charges already, and “31,000 files had disappeared from Greitens' phone between an April review conducted by his legal team and a forensic examination in May ordered by a St. Louis judge.” Baker explained that with so much potential evidence destroyed, her office did not think it likely she could get a conviction on the charges. That’s what happened with Eric Greitens. That’s why he wasn’t convicted of a crime. Ironically (or poetically), on his way out the door of the governor’s mansion, Greitens signed off on a bill that criminalized some of the stuff he himself was allegedly guilty of. 

Since then Greitens, like a true sociopath, has been working the newest GOP policy strategy: Just lie like you believe the lie and maybe everyone will believe the lie. 

On Wednesday, Greitens was a guest on Salem Radio Network's The Hugh Hewitt Show, where he proceeded to attack the victim, revising the facts of the case of his alleged assault. Added to this cauldron of misogyny was Hewitt’s bizarre make-it-up belittling of the charges against him. Media Matters reports that during the interview, ostensibly about Greitens attempt to win the Republican nomination for Missouri governor this year, Hewitt asked Greitens if that thing that happened less than 30 months ago might come up—you know, the thing that ended with allegations that Eric Greitens assaulted, abused, kidnapped, and threatened a woman he had admitted to having an extramarital affair with? But Hugh did not ask it like that. He said this: “Look, you're talking to a Republican. I just want to win the Senate, Eric, and I'm afraid you'll be Todd Aikin 2.0. I'm afraid Todd Aikin got killed over ‘legitimate rape’ and in this Missouri report, you are accused by a witness of half-rape. What are you going to do when the ads attack you of half-rape?”

”Half-rape.” It’s so beyond the pale it is hard to put into words what a waste of carbon Hugh Hewitt is. The allegations against Greitens are graphic and include his accuser being repeatedly slapped and hit and sexually assaulted by Greitens. Then threatened with blackmail by Greitens. Candidate Greitens wants Hewitt and his listeners to know that the woman who said he coerced her into performing oral sex while she wept uncontrollably on a basement floor was paid off. “You gotta look at the facts. Here's the facts, sir. Again, $120,000 cash bribe was paid and the person who you're referencing said that they might be remembering their accusations through a dream.” 

Let’s first talk about this “dream” remark by Greitens. What he and his team of dozens of lawyers jumped on was the assertion his accuser made that while she was tied up and blindfolded, "I can hear like a, like a cell phone – like a picture, and I can see a flash through the blindfold." This photograph, mind you, exists. Greitens has been very cagey about whether or not he took the photo—a photo that exists. But, during a seven-hour deposition by defense lawyers, the woman said that she could not recall ever seeing Greitens in possession of a camera or a phone.

When the defense counsel asked the woman, "Did you ever see (Greitens) in possession of a camera or phone?" she answered: "Not to my knowledge. I didn’t see him with it."

An assistant circuit attorney asked the woman, "Did you see what you believed to be a phone?"

She answered, "… I haven’t talked about it because I don’t know if it’s because I’m remembering it through a dream or I – I’m not sure, but yes, I feel like I saw it after that happened, but I haven’t spoken about it because of that."

Special prosecutor Baker, when holding her press conference about the charges and the suspiciously missing evidence, made it clear that the woman charged was courageous and believable in every respect. "What is important to note about this victim through all of this is that she did not waver. Though she repeatedly faced a large, aggressive team of expensive lawyers — I’m told that list may be as high as 40 lawyers — she held her own."

The “$120,000 cash bribe,” Greitens throws in there refers to the money that was reportedly paid out to the lawyer of the woman’s ex-husband—who was also possibly working for a “wealthy Republican who did not like Greitens and that it was personal,” as reported by the Los Angeles Times in 2018. But let us be clear here: That $120,000 seems to have gone to the ex-husband’s lawyer and the ex-husband to release the photograph and a recording of the woman admitting to the affair and Greitens’ criminal behavior. That money did not go to the woman, and that woman has gotten nothing but heartache and abuse, publicly and privately, for her unfortunate connection to the former disgrace of a Navy SEAL. 

Greitens, a man in his 40s, clearly only resigned because he would have been impeached otherwise, and has been working to quickly rebuild his brand of former Navy SEAL-turned politician by restarting the clock, with rumors that he would return to the Navy to be redeployed in the field of combat.  Whether or not Greitens really planned to do that, whether or not the Navy actually would want him back, all disappeared into the news cycle. But Greitens did make one thing clear—he wants to be Missouri’s governor in 2022. The GOP is hoping that the former alleged sexual assaulter and corrupt public official won’t win the primary nomination. Of course, the Republican Party made this bed of sociopathic snakes so … they get what they vote for. And a reminder, Greitens’ short time in office included actions like signing anti-labor right-to-work laws along with almost $150 million in cuts to education and voting. He believes in pushing the policies of the Republican Party—a Party that represents people like Greitens.

Huge Hewitt has been a right-wing hack for a long time, and like all hacks, the Trump administration and its failures exposed the levels of self-degradation people like Hewitt were willing to sink to in order to stay in power and money. Like many of the archaic hucksters with right-wing microphones, Hewitt at one point in his career had been able to hide behind a “genial, agreeable style that the Beltway media mistook as thoughtful analysis.”