Missouri legislature calls for special session to consider impeaching Gov. Greitens

Missouri legislature call for special session

Missouri legislature calls for special session to consider impeaching Gov Greitens

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - UPDATE: Leaders from the Missouri House and Senate announced they are calling for a special session to consider impeaching Gov. Eric Greitens after allegations of blackmail and misuse of a charity donor list.

Speaker of the House Todd Richardson said the session will give the committee investigating the governor the time it needs to do their job right. 

Three-fourths of lawmakers from the Missouri House and Senate signed the petition, the required amount to move forward with the special session.

"Members signed this petition because they believe in a fair process that will not be rushed to conclusion by artificial deadline," said Richardson. "But make no mistake about it, today's actions insure that there will be a conclusion to this process. The power to discipline elected officials is the most serious of legislative powers."

The session will begin May 18 and will mark the first time in Missouri history that a Legislature has called itself into a special session. That's four days after Greitens is scheduled to head to trial in the criminal investigation into allegations of blackmail. Greitens has been accused of taking a nude photo of a woman without her permission as well as misusing a charity donor list and then lying to the Missouri Ethics Commission about the use of that list. 

Rep. Kip Kendrick, (D) - Columbia, said the call for a special session shows that it's a unique time in Missouri and for the wrong reasons.

"It’s been a roller coaster ride I think for all of us here in the capitol. We feel like we made the right the decision," he said. "I think Democrats as a whole feel like we made the right decision by signing on for the call for a special session. We’ll continue to push in the meantime for possibility for articles of impeachments."

"If the governor cared a wit about the state of Missouri he would resign because he's destined to be impeached," State Sen. Rob Schaaf/(R) - St. Joseph said. "And this is going to be a big spectacle that's going to cost a lot of money. It's tarnishing the reputation of the state of Missouri."

"In the 30 years since Missourians granted the General Assembly the constitutional authority to call itself into special session, it has never before exercised that power," House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty (D) - Kansas City said. "Given the high threshold for lawmaker support required, successfully doing so was long considered all but impossible. But with the alleged crimes committed by Eric Greitens and his refusal to do the honorable thing and resign, the impossible became possible.

"The House investigative committee has done outstanding work to date, but as we near the end of the regular legislative session, it is clear the committee needs additional time to finish building its case and prepare articles of impeachment for the House to consider. Pursuing impeachment against a Missouri governor is history none of us wants to make, but Eric Greitens' actions have made it unavoidable."

ORIGINAL: The Missouri House and Senate are holding a joint press conference tonight. 

This comes one day after a second House investigative report was released on Governor Eric Greitens.

The report said Greitens misled campaign workers about his use of a charity donor list. 

The press conference is scheduled to start at 7:45 p.m. ABC 17 News will be livestreaming the event. 

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