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About that $100,000 in cash – Missouri House Committee has questions for lawyer

About that $100,000 in cash – Missouri House Committee has questions for lawyer

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JEFFERSON CITY • A Missouri House committee has subpoenaed a lawyer involved in a criminal case against Gov. Eric Greitens to ask questions about $100,000 in cash  delivered to the lawyer.

Al Watkins, who represents the ex-husband of a woman who accused Greitens of taking a nude picture of her without her consent, said Monday that the cash was delivered to his Clayton office in January. Greitens is charged with felony invasion of privacy.

Watkins said that he had received a subpoena from the House committee requesting him to appear during the first week of May.

“I am very respectful of the committee’s task and will continue to be as cooperative as possible,” he said.

In a court hearing Monday, attorneys for Greitens said Watkins received the cash from a “political operative.” They did not elaborate.

Watkins said after the hearing that a courier dropped off the payments at his Clayton law firm in January. He said it came with no instructions but "there's no doubt" it was related to the Greitens case.

He said his office later received “a call from an intermediary,” but he would not identify the source of the money or the intermediary.

Citing his comments Monday, Greitens' lawyers sought permission from St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison to depose Watkins, saying "he's clearly made himself a witness." They had already sought financial records of the payments to him.

Burlison said he was aware of the House subpoena. He questioned Watkins' lawyer, Anthony S. Bretz, about the appropriateness of accepting an anonymous donation, asking Bretz, "You don't see anything wrong with that?"

But Watkins had not yet been served with the subpoena by Greitens' lawyers, and Bretz declined to agree to a deposition date without one.

Burlison then denied Watkins' motion to quash the subpoena for financial records of the payments.

Watkins was not present in court. Burlison said that he was planning on talking to Watkins about whether he violated a court order by holding the impromptu press conference on the courthouse steps minutes after the pair had a spirited discussion about the existing gag order in the case.

The defense earlier this month had sought to question former Democratic Party Chairman Roy Temple regarding any payments to the woman, Watkins or the woman’s ex-husband. Temple has said publicly and in court filings that he had nothing to do with it, and the suggestion was “disgusting.”

Kurt Erickson of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this article.

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