Eric Greitens Prosecutor Blows Off Search Warrant — Judge Is Not Amused
Police showed up to execute a search warrant at the office of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, and she showed them the door.
Gardner is currently the subject of a special prosecutor’s investigation into the handling of the case against former Republican Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens — specifically regarding William Tisaby, who was hired by Gardner to investigate Greitens. Tisaby is accused of perjuring himself during that investigation and Gardner is being investigated under the suspicion that she suborned that perjury. (RELATED: Prosecutor Who Brought Down Republican Governor Now Under Grand Jury Investigation)
Gardner filed a motion Monday after she refused to comply with the warrant as served, claiming that the warrant was too broad. In a statement released by her office, she also argued that it was a “fishing expedition” and amounted to retaliation against her office for working to “hold the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department accountable.”
The warrant is a thinly-veiled attempt to circumvent the law and the people of St. Louis in retribution for my efforts to hold the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department accountable and reform our criminal justice system. I am asking the Court to protect the information of thousands of St. Louis citizens from this clear fishing expedition. I will not allow shameful overreach to jeopardize the public’s interest and safety.
Judge Michael Mullen, who is presiding over the grand jury investigation into Gardner and signed the search warrant she rebuffed, chastised her in open court Tuesday and accused her office of “playing games” instead of cooperating with the investigation.
Top St. Louis prosecutor Kim Gardner playing games’ with grand jury investigation, judge says https://t.co/h6Q48NSnXn via @stltoday@joelcurrier
— Gilbert Bailon (@GilbertBailon) March 6, 2019
Gardner delayed any upcoming court proceedings by demanding that her three outside attorneys, none of whom live locally, be present in the courtroom. Her office further indicated that she was not likely to be present before the grand jury on March 14 — when she was initially scheduled to testify.
St. Louis Police Officers Association business manager — and author of “The War On Police” — Jeff Roorda spoke with The Daily Caller on Thursday, noting that there were a number of aspects of this case that were troubling.
First and foremost, he pointed out the fact that Gardner was out of line in filing the motion before police were allowed to execute the search warrant. “When you’re the defendant, and she is in this case, you don’t get to tell the police that the search warrant is invalid. Defendants don’t get to say whether or not search warrants are valid. If they could, no search warrant would ever be executed.”
Roorda also noted that doing so before the warrant was executed gave her ample time to destroy any evidence they might have found, especially since the warrant pertained specifically to computer records. “That’s why you don’t give defendants a warning before you serve a warrant,” he explained.
Second, he argued that there really is “no such thing as a fishing expedition” when it comes to search warrants. If a search warrant is properly obtained, it has to meet a fairly high level of scrutiny.
“A judge has to sign off on the warrant,” he explained. “And for that to happen, he has to believe there is probable cause that a crime was committed and that evidence pertaining to that crime can be found where the warrant allows police to look.”
As for Gardner’s assertion that the search warrant was “retribution” for her efforts to hold police accountable, Roorda found no shortage of irony in that claim, saying, “It’s fine if she’s holding police accountable, but shouldn’t she be holding herself accountable as well?”
Gardner’s office currently has a list of over two dozen St. Louis Metropolitan Police Officers from whom she will not take cases or allow testimony — however, Roorda informed the Caller that none of the officers on that list have been the subject of court hearings determining that they are not credible witnesses or upstanding police officers. (RELATED: St. Louis Prosecutor Refuses To Take Cases From 28 Police Officers — She Made A List)
Roorda concluded with one simple question: “Why isn’t this a bigger story?” he asked. “An elected official refused to comply with a legally-obtained search warrant, ignored a court order and this isn’t national news?”