Vice President Mike Pence and his office applied political pressure to get former Missouri governor Eric Greitens reinstated to the U.S. Navy in 2018 despite the fact that Greitens had been charged with two felonies: Sexual misconduct and computer tampering, according to a report from the Kansas City Star:
“Greitens had been charged with a felony in 2018 connected to allegations of violent sexual misconduct. Though the charge was ultimately dropped, the Navy wasn’t ready to welcome the former governor back at a time when the military was facing intense criticism over its response to sexual assault in its ranks.
“It was after the intervention of Vice President Mike Pence’s office that Greitens was allowed to return as a reservist, the documents show.
“The experience forced a wider look within the Navy at how it handles misconduct – and in Greitens’ case, could have resulted in the former governor facing charges for rape or sexual assault under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.”
The very fact that a sitting vice president went to bat for a man accused of such serious crimes raises disturbing questions about how Pence and the Trump administration are eager to protect their political allies no matter what disgusting things they may be accused of. The president has repeatedly issued pardons and commutations to those who were central figures in the Russia investigation, most recently commuting the sentence of Roger Stone, who had been found guilty by a jury and was sentenced to seven years in federal prison on charges ranging from witness tampering to obstruction of a proceeding.
Using a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the Star was able to obtain 850 pages of documents related to Greitens, who has been busy in recent months trying to rehabilitate his image by making appearances on conservative media outlets such as Fox News.
Grietens was forced to resign as governor when the sexual misconduct allegations became public and he was facing being impeached and removed from office. And he would have also been unable to rejoin the military in any capacity whatsoever had Pence not gotten involved:
“In a Feb. 13, 2019 email which is believed to refer to Greitens, an executive assistant with the Naval Recruiting Command wrote, ‘Long story short, VPOTUS wants [redacted] to come work for him in D.C. but in a military capacity.’ (The name of the email’s author was redacted along with the apparent reference to Greitens.) ‘The whole chain of command from SECDEF [the Secretary of Defense] on down are supportive of him coming in so we’re just trying to make this as painless and quick as possible.'”
The charges against Greitens while he was serving in the Navy as a SEAL are horrific:
“The most explosive scandal, and the one that resulted in many of his fellow Republicans calling for his resignation or impeachment, involved allegations by a woman with whom Greitens had a brief affair in 2015.
“She testified under oath that Greitens taped her hands to pull-up rings in his basement, blindfolded her, spit water into her mouth, ripped open her shirt, pulled down her pants and took a photo of her to use as blackmail to keep her from talking about their relationship.”
And yet a man who was accused of such a disgusting act is now back in the Navy reserve and has the full endorsement of the Vice President of the United States, who claims to be a devout Christian.
If we are the company we keep, what does this case say about Mike Pence?
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