The #Missouri General Assembly has taken the historic step of calling itself back into special session to decide whether to impeach Gov. Eric Greitens.
According to the petition signed by 138 House members and 29 senators — both more than the three-fourths required in each cahmber to call a special session — lawmakers will consider the findings and recommendations of a House committee investigating Greitens, “including, but not limited to disciplinary actions against Gov. Eric R. Greitens.”
The special session would begin at 6:30 p.m. on May 18, immediately after the legislature adjourns its regular session for the year. It will mark the first time in Missouri history that lawmakers have called a special session themselves instead of relying on the governor to do so.
House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, first proposed a special session last month after a special House committee investigating Greitens released a report detailing allegations of abuse, blackmail and sexual coercion made by a woman with whom he had an affair in 2015.
“Today’s actions ensure there will be a conclusion to this process,” Richardson said, later adding: “This path is not the one I would have chosen for Missourians or for my colleagues. I’ve hoped from the beginning of this process that the committee would find no wrongdoing. … Unfortunately, this is where the facts led. We will not avoid doing what is right, just because it’s hard.”
House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty, D-Kansas City, agreed with Richardson.
“This is a necessary step,” she said. “We have to make sure we do this right, and the best way to do that is to give the committee time to complete the investigation, and if they see fit, to file articles of impeachment.”
She said some of her fellow Democrats refused to sign because they wanted impeachment to start immediately. Others thought impeachment should wait until after Greitens’ criminal trial, which starts May 14.