A U.S. Chamber of Commerce ad has removed the image of Gov. Eric Greitens amid a criminal investigation into allegations against him.
The ad, sans Greitens, will start running next week. It is completely identical with the exception of Greitens' removal.
ABC 17 News reached out to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for comment but has not heard back.
This comes as St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner announced she's opening a criminal investigation into the allegations against Greitens. The governor has been accused of blackmailing a woman so that she would keep quiet about their affair. He admitted to having an extramarital affair, but has denied any allegations of blackmail.
The admission was triggered by a report from KMOV, which aired a recording of the woman telling her now ex-husband about the affair. On Friday, the unnamed woman's lawyer released a statement and said her ex-husband secretly recorded her.
"Our law firm represents the unnamed woman in the recent story involving Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens. We are reaching out to you today to ask the media and the public to respect our client’s request for privacy. This story has taken an emotional toll on our client and she is extremely distraught that the information has been made public. It is very disappointing that her ex-husband betrayed her confidence by secretly, and without her knowledge, recording a private and deeply personal conversation and then subsequently released the recording to the media without her consent.
"Prior to releasing the story, a number of reporters made contact with our client asking her to comment on the information provided by her ex-husband. In response, she has consistently and continuously asked the reporters not to publish the story. Any comments that were made ‘on the record’ or ‘off the record’ have consistently been requests for privacy. Our client is a single mother working hard to raise a family. She is saddened that during this time of national introspection on the treatment of women in our society, allegations about her private life have been published without her permission.
"At this time, our client would like to thank each reporter and media outlet who honored her request for privacy prior to the story’s release. She wants to remain a private citizen and does not want to be a part of this story. We are asking the media and the public to continue respecting her privacy."
Meanwhile, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ad isn't the only one from which Greitens has disappeared. According to a report from the Chicago Tribune, Republican Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's campaign has stopped airing a TV ad that featured Missouri's governor. The Washington Examiner is also reporting that Greitens and his wife, Sheena, had a conference call with donors Thursday and told them he is committed to continuing in office.
Columbia College political science professor Terry Smith told ABC 17 News that Greitens' political future is essentially over.
"Certainly at the national level. I don't think there's any question about that," Smith said. "It remains to be seen at the state [level]."