JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - After the allegations of blackmail against Gov. Eric Greitens in January, ABC 17's Joe McLean asked political science expert Dr. Kenneth Warren how a potential indictment could affect the administration's future.
"If Greitens feels that the charges are serious, then he probably will resign and he won't survive it," Warren said, referring to the political survival of the Missouri governor.
A St. Louis grand jury indicted Greitens Thursday for felony invasion of privacy, stemming from his admitted 2015 extramarital affair.
Warren said Greitens' public perception as a family man and ethical leader was severely tarnished when news of the affair and allegations of blackmail were made public.
Now that the administration is fighting a criminal case, Warren said the continuation of Greitens' leadership seems much less likely.
"When people elected Greitens, they thought they were electing a perfect person," said Warren. "There's nothing worse for a person in politics than to have their reputation severely damaged and there's no question that his image has been severely damaged by this."
With a growing number of lawmakers in both major parties calling on the governor to resign, impeachment may be a strategy that is employed by the General Assembly regardless of the outcome of the criminal proceedings.
Greitens' lawyer, Edward L. Dowd Jr., said the governor is innocent of the crime and that he will file for dismissal of the charges.