Four GOP 2022 candidates accused of violence, sexual assault
Missouri: Eric Greitens
Eric Greitens, candidate to succeed Missouri Senator Roy Blunt: While serving as Governor in 2018, Greitens was accused of blackmailing a woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair. The woman, who was Greitens’s hairstylist at the time, alleged that Greitens restrained and blindfolded her, then took pictures of her naked and threatened to distribute the pictures if she revealed the relationship.
A special Investigative Committee of the Missouri House of Representatives interviewed the woman and found her allegations “credible”.
NYT: The woman went to his house in March 2015 at his request, the report said. He bound her to exercise equipment with tape and began kissing her around her stomach, the woman testified, according to the 24-page report. After she began crying and told him to stop, Mr. Greitens helped her undo the tape, and then hugged her and tried to console her.
But then he took out his penis, the report said, and the woman told the investigative committee that although she was not scared, she felt that the only way she could leave his home was if she performed oral sex.
“It felt like consent, but, no, I didn’t want to do it,” the woman is quoted as saying in the report. “Coerced, maybe. I felt as though that would allow me to leave.”
Greitens resigned shortly after the Missouri House and Senate convened a special session to consider impeachment.
That all brings us to today, with Greitens running in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate Seat of Missouri. His now ex-wife, Sheena Greitens, is in the middle of a child custody dispute with the former governor. In court filings, she alleges that Greitens was violent and abusive to her and their son:
“In early June 2018, I became afraid for my safety and that of our children at our home, which was fairly isolated, due to Eric’s unstable and coercive behavior,” she said, according to court records from the ongoing custody battle. “This behavior included physical violence toward our children, such as cuffing our then three-year-old son across the face at the dinner table in front of me and yanking him around by his hair.”
Sheena Greitens said she and others were so concerned about Eric Greitens’ behavior that they limited his access to firearms on three occasions. She said she was concerned about the “escalation of physical violence” and eventually, “I started sleeping in my children’s room simply to try to keep them safe,” according to her affidavit.
Georgia: Herschel Walker
Herschel Walker, candidate to challenge Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock (D): Walker, a former NFL player, is endorsed by former president Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. He supported Trump’s 2016 and 2020 campaigns, spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, and called the Jan. 6th insurrection a “well planned” distraction from election fraud.
More problematic, however, are the abuse and domestic assault accusations leveled by at least two women. Cindy Grossman, his ex-wife, secured a protective order against him in 2005, telling the court that Walker threatened to kill her:
When his book was released, she told ABC News that at one point during their marriage, her husband pointed a pistol at her head and said, “I’m going to blow your f’ing brains out.” She filed for divorce in 2001, citing “physically abusive and extremely threatening behavior.”
Grossman told the court she got calls during that period from her sister and father, both of whom had been contacted by Walker. He told family members that he would kill her and her new boyfriend, according to Maria Tsettos, Cindy Grossman’s sister.
Another woman romantically involved with Walker went to the police in 2012 to report similar violent threats.
“He told her that he was going to come and sit outside her apartment and ‘blow her head off when she came outside,’ ” according to the report. “He then told her that he was going to ‘blow his head off’ after he killed her.”
Walker has admitted being “accountable” for violent behavior towards his ex-wife but denies all other allegations.
Further reading: “Police records complicate Herschel Walker’s recovery story,” ABC News
Nebraska: Charles Herbster
Charles Herbster, candidate to succeed Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R, term-limited): Herbster is an agribusiness executive and large Republican donor. He served as the chairman of Donald Trump’s agriculture and rural advisory committee and previously ran for governor in 2014.
An investigation by the Nebraska Examiner found eight women who allege that Herbster groped them at public events over the past five years. Six of the women have at least one witness to corroborate their accounts; the other two told at least one person about the incident on the day it occurred.
Six women, including the woman Slama saw being groped at the Elephant Remembers dinner, told the Nebraska Examiner that Herbster touched them inappropriately when they were saying hello or goodbye to him, or when they were posing for a photograph by his side.
The women said Herbster groped them on their buttocks, outside of their clothes, during political events or beauty pageants. Each woman said she was grabbed, not inadvertently grazed, by Herbster.
A seventh woman said Herbster once cornered her privately and kissed her forcibly.
Nebraska State Sen. Julie Slama (a Republican representing the area southeast of Lincoln) spoke out about her experience with Herbster on a local radio station last week:
“As I was … walking to my table, I felt a hand reach up my skirt, up my dress and the hand was Charles Herbster’s,” Slama said in an interview on News Radio KFAB in Omaha. “I was in shock. I was mortified. It’s one of the most traumatizing things I’ve ever been through.”
Slama added: “I watched as five minutes later he grabbed the buttocks of another young woman. … This was witnessed by several people at the event.”
Herbster is endorsed by Donald Trump. The former president’s son, Don. Jr, spoke at a rally in Herbster’s honor the day before the womens’ stories became public.
Ohio: Max Miller
Max Miller, candidate to succeed Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan (D, running for Senate): Miller started his career in politics working for Marco Rubio’s campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He went on to serve as an associate director of the Presidential Personnel Office and special assistant to then-president Donald Trump.
Prior to redistricting, Miller declared his intent to run for Ohio’s 16th District House seat held by incumbent Republican Anthony Gonzalez. Trump appeared at a rally to support Miller last summer. “A really great guy, Max Miller. A passion—he’s got a passion for this country like you wouldn’t believe,” Trump said.
According to public records and interviews conducted by Politico, Miller “has a record of speeding, underage drinking and disorderly conduct—documented charges from multiple jurisdictions that include a previously unreported charge in 2011 for driving under the influence that he subsequently pleaded down to a more minor offense.” People who know him report he “can be a cocky bully with a quick-trigger temper.”
In fact, Miller’s ex-girlfriend (and fellow Trump White House alum) Stephanie Grisham, alleged that Miller “physically abused her on the day they broke up.” She wrote in The Washington Post that she had told both Donald and Melania Trump that Miller had become violent with her…and neither acted to support her.
A few weeks later, after the first presidential debate, I was with President Trump on Air Force One. Noting that my ex was also in our entourage, the president asked me if it was tough to have seen him at the debate. He then began to tell me how broken up my ex had been about the split and expressed sympathy for him.
I couldn’t sit there and listen to that. Although I had not intended to, I confided the same story about the physical abuse that I had told Mrs. Trump. I told the president that this “great guy” had anger issues and a violent streak. I was not some stranger making a wild accusation. I hoped that he would take me seriously, that he would do something.
After I finished, the president crossed his arms and just said, “That surprises me. He was really broken up over things.” After we got off the helicopter, Mrs. Trump said she was glad I told him.
We never spoke about it again.
Miller has since filed a defamation lawsuit against Grisham.