Judge declines to issue order barring Greitens’ texting app

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP)   A judge has refused to issue a temporary restraining order that would have prohibited Republican Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and his staff from using a texting app that erases messages after they are read.

The Kansas City Star reports that Cole County Judge Jon Beetem issued the ruling Friday in a lawsuit that accuses Greitens and his staff of engaging in a conspiracy to violate Missouri's open records law by using the Confide app.

Critics contend that with the app, it is impossible to determine whether the governor and his staff use it to conduct state business in secret.

Beetem set a hearing for further arguments in March, acknowledging there are "open questions."

The governor's office's use of Confide also is being investigated by Attorney General Josh Hawley's office.

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