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Governor's legal team offers up rules for special session

Governors legal team offers up rules for special session

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - UPDATE, 3:30 p.m.: The legal team representing Gov. Eric Greitens' office has laid out the specific rules and procedures it wants the House committee to follow when the special session begins on Friday.

Among the proposed rules is a request to allow the governor's team to ask House Speaker Todd Richardson to issue subpoenas to potential witnesses. The team, which consists of Kansas City-based attorney Edward Greim and impeachment expert Ross Garber, are also set on keeping proceedings public and having the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses.

"What we're talking about here is potentially undoing an election," said Garber. "That must happen in public. The public must have confidence that whatever the result, it was done right and fairly." 

So far, most of the committee's meetings have been behind closed doors but Greitens' team is suggesting that some of those interviews should be done in the open.

"The public should be able to evaluate the credibility of witnesses publicly," said Garber.

The attorneys spent two hours in front of the House panel answering questions and laying out a draft of their proposed rules.

The proposed rules "In the Matter of Governor Eric Greitens" are summarized as follows:

Hearings and meetings: Should be done in line with the House Rules and scheduled by the Chairman. Every member of the committee, Governor Greitens and the public should be given at least 24 hours notice prior to any hearing or meeting.

Issuance of subpoenas: The Counsel for the Office of the Governor, Counsel for Governor Greitens and the Chairperson of the Committee may request that the speaker issue subpoenas, or a written order for someone to appear in court and be questioned of anything within the scope of the Committee's proceedings. They could also request a subpoenas duces tecum, meaning the person requested to appear in court has to bring with him or her, any material requested such as records, documents, audio recordings, still photographs and more.

Conduct of meetings and hearings: All Committee meetings shall be public, unless a majority of Committee members decide by a public vote, that the public interest requires it to be closed. However, the Counsel for the Office of the Governor and counsel for Governor Greitens would be allowed to attend all closed meetings and hearings.

Right to counsel: Witness' shall be accompanied by his or her own counsel who can advise the witness to their rights.

Testimony: All meetings and proceedings shall be recorded, including discussions, debates, rulings, objections, questions, testimonies, statements and any other matters the Committee directs. All testimonies are given under oath. Counsels may question and cross-examine all witness's. 

Documentary evidence: Copies of any documentary evidence shall be made available for each member of the Committee and for the counsel for the Office of the Governor and Governor Greitens, no less than 24 hours in advance. 

Evidentiary questions: The Chair shall determine all questions, but any member may move to overrule the Chair's ruling. A majority vote shall be the only way to overrule the Chair.

Committee record: All materials created or submitted to the Committee shall be stored with the Clerk of the House for record.

Summations: After the conclusion of evidence, counsel to the Committee, counsel for the Office of the Governor and Governor Greitens shall be allowed to make presentations orally and in writing, but it's up to the Committee to create length limits.

Committee chair Rep. Jay Barnes urged the lawyers to reveal the details of their contracts and compensation.

"The committee wants to understand the basis of your representative and the contract that's using taxpayer funds that pay you," he told the attorneys. "We're asking basic questions about the contract."

Both are making a combined $660 per hour to represent the office of the governor, which is taxpayer money. They will represent the office through the entire process.

Within the next few days, the attorneys will have to sit down with committee members to go through specifics of the proposed rules.

"Let's go have a meeting where we can sit down, roll up our sleeves, go through the rules, see where we have disagreements, and cut a deal," said Greim. "If anybody knows how to do that, it's the legislators here."

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ORIGINAL STORY: The House special investigative committee looking into allegations against Gov. Eric Greitens is scheduled to meet Wednesday at 8 a.m. in an open meeting. 

The meeting comes after the committee released two documents related to Greitens campaign funding.

On Tuesday, a House investigatory committee decided to call Greitens policy director Will Scharf as a witness. The panel wants to ask him about a memo he wrote in July 2016 about an apparent plan to funnel money to Greitens' campaign from anonymous donors.
  
At the time, Scharf was working for Catherine Hanaway, a rival in the Republican primary who now is an attorney for Greitens' campaign.
  
The panel also released a document Tuesday showing Greitens' political aides had discussed setting up a fundraising committee as soon as December 2014, two months before Greitens actually did so.


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