In the famous Harry Potter series of fantasy novels, the memory charm — cast with the word “obliviate” — was used by magic people (witches) to erase specific memories from the minds of non-magic people (Muggles).
The purpose was mostly to keep the Muggles from knowing much about the witches. It worked pretty well, although sometimes the witches had to resort to memory-modifying charms, which added memories to the Muggle’s mind that were never there to start with.
Don’t look now, Muggles, but that guy over there on the broomstick is Eric Greitens.
Yes, our disgraced ex-governor, ever the charmer, has decided to return to public life with the help of a little magic. Greitens embarked in late February to the Ministry of Magic to conjure potions in the Dark Arts of revisionist history.
If you’re a fan of good fiction and you’re facing an hour or two of shelter-at-home boredom, I commend to you Greitens’ sorcery-Twitter. You can enjoy watching the pull-up expert and some media allies come unhinged.Greitens has spoken with such luminaries as “journalist” John Solomon, who when not running political errands to Ukraine for President Donald Trump, churns conspiracy theories faster than you can say “Antifa is eating our children!” Solomon, Greitens’ most loyal attack dog, has combined his bark with that of a seal to expose the persecution of our ex-governor on Fox, Newsmax, Salem Radio and the like.
Persecution? Oh yes, that. First allow Greitens to get in a word: “Obliviate!”
Ok, now you’re ready to know what happened to Greitens, because you no longer have any memory of the following 2018 events:
• KMOV airing a bombshell audiotape January 10, provided by the now ex-husband of a woman (KS) who was Greitens’ ex-mistress. The man had secretly recorded her tearful confession to an affair with Greitens, complete with lurid details.
• Then-state Sen. Rob Schaaf (R-St. Joseph), tweeting “Stick a fork in him” about Greitens that day, leading a host of state legislators, such as Sens. Jamilah Nasheed (D-St. Louis), Gary Romine (R-Farmington), Doug Libla (R-Poplar Bluff) and Gina Walsh (D-St. Louis), and Reps. Shamed Dogan (R-Ballwin), Deb Lavender (D-Kirkwood) and Tracy McCreery (D-Frontenac), all of whom called for Greitens’ head.
• From January 10 forward, the Missouri state legislature conducting a high-profile investigation in which KS convinced them she was telling the truth about having been tied up in a basement, stripped without her consent, coerced to have oral sex with him and blackmailed if she ever told of the affair.
• The legislature conducting a major investigation into Greitens political misuse of his charity: The Mission Continues.
• Senator Josh Hawley (then state attorney general) and Rep. Ann Wagner joining a long line of Republicans calling for Greitens to resign.
• A judge ruling on May 29, that Greitens’ secretive nonprofit must immediately turn over its documents to the legislature, and Greitens announcing his resignation hours later.
• State Rep. Jay Barnes (R-Jefferson City) filing campaign-finance complaints on June 1 of that year with the (MEC) about campaign-finance allegations. The filing came after Greitens resigned and were unrelated to why he left.
Since none of that ever happened, Greitens, with the help of a memory-modifying charm, was able to share the following new truths with national audiences:
“This was organized as a campaign to drive me from office because I was elected as a conservative outsider — we got more done in the first year than the state had in the previous sixteen — and the people were happy with what we were doing. You had a George Soros-funded prosecutor bringing a false indictment against me with no evidence. You had $120,000 or more in cash delivered to people to get them to make up lies. The whole thing was baked from the beginning. This was a political hit job designed to undo the results of the 2016 election, to overturn the will of the voters. You had a cabal of national liberals working with deep-state insiders with the help of Missouri media who were working hand in hand with this George Soros prosecutor named Kim Gardner pushing all these false allegations. So, I was accused and indicted with no evidence, and the judge just let this thing keep rolling and rolling and rolling along. So, they’re ripping your reputation apart every day, trying to bankrupt your family with legal expenses and the Fake News is magnifying this, and we literally don’t have a journalist in the state who’ll say, ‘Hold on, how can you charge this man with no evidence?’ And then, when the Missouri Ethics Commission looked at the whole thing, they came out and said Eric Greitens did absolutely nothing wrong, that he was completely exonerated, the Missouri media almost refused to report the facts about what the ethics commission found.”
So, there’s that. Greitens repeatedly referred to St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner as “the Soros-funded prosecutor.” (Soros’ PAC did give her substantial money in 2016, but she denies ever having met or spoken with him.) Solomon asserted as fact that Gardner’s ill-chosen investigator — former FBI agent William Tisaby — will be going to prison, even though he has pleaded not guilty to perjury charges and his case has been pushed back until at least June 26.
Solomon, in talking to Greitens, sought to put the ex-governor’s tragic persecution in a broader context.
“It’s eerie. Everything that happened to President Trump in 2017 with the fake Russia investigation was exported to America’s heartland, and they took down Missouri’s governor. The only difference is that they weren’t able to charge the president with anything. There’s clearly a wave now where the left has decided to weaponize law enforcement with Soros prosecutors. They’re going to conduct bogus investigations. They’re going to put people forward to make false allegations, and they’re going to rely on people who don’t care about the facts and the fake news to drive those allegations. Bad for democracy.”
Seb Gorka, like me, reached for a Harry Potter analogy, describing Soros as “Lord Voldemort.” Unlike me, Trump’s former deputy assistant is an accused Nazi sympathizer, but that’s not important here. “You were a conservative outsider getting things done,” he told Greitens. “The people loved you, you were a threat to the swamp, so Soros and all of them realized they had to take you out. It’s an unbelievably disturbing story.”
The magic narrative is a lot more fun than the one the Muggles no longer remember. Having Soros involved is cool, and so is the fact that the MEC “exoneration” was completely unrelated to the two things Greitens actually resigned over: allegations he abused and threatened a woman and alleged criminality with charity money.
Greitens and Solomon didn’t mention that the Soros-funded prosecutor also had charged him with felonies related to the charity — with evidence — and only dropped the charges when he agreed to resign.
Instead, they used a bit of magic to misrepresent the MEC civil case — which resulted in the largest civil fine ever given to a candidate ($178,000) over failure to report in-kind donations. Not only was it not “exoneration,” it wasn’t even related to the sex- or charity-related criminal charges. The complaints for which the MEC found Greitens not guilty related to how his campaign filed and made expenditures.
It’s great what a little magic can do.
Last week, Greitens filed paperwork with the state announcing his intention to run as a Republican for no office in particular in 2024. I’m not sure that’s even a thing, and Elad Gross, candidate for the Democratic nomination for attorney general, smartly has filed a brief contesting its legality.
Meanwhile, we Muggles will just have to wait to see what Greitens plans to do in 2024. But we already know his campaign slogan: “Obliviate.”
Ray Hartmann founded the Riverfront Times in 1977. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or catch him on St. Louis In the Know With Ray Hartmann from 9 to 11 p.m. Monday thru Friday on KTRS (550 AM).