The Missouri House Minority Leader says Democrats in her chamber won’t support a special session regarding the future of Governor Eric Greitens (R), until regular session options are exhausted.
The House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight issued a 24-page report Wednesday in Jefferson City.
House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, told the Capitol Press Corps on Wednesday evening that the committee will be unable to make recommendations to the Legislature before the 2018 session ends on May 18.
“With the limited time left for the General Assembly to complete the work Missourians sent us to Jefferson City to do, Chairman (Jay) Barnes and members of the committee have work remaining,” Richardson said Wednesday.
The Speaker also said that he and Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin, support a special session, regarding recommendations.
House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty, D-Kansas City, is calling on the House to impeach Greitens “without delay.”
“During the five weeks remaining in the legislative session, the House must dedicate itself and its resources to pursuing the impeachment process to its conclusion. Aside from passing the state budget- the General Assembly’s only constitutionally required duty- all other matters can wait,” Beatty’s statement reads, in part.
Beatty’s announcement is significant, because it takes a three-fourths majority of both chambers to call themselves into a special session.
While Democrats are outnumbered 114-47, Republicans will need Democratic votes to get to the three-fourths mark.
It would take 123 votes of votes of the 163-member Missouri House and 26 in the 34-member State Senate to get three-fourths.
Meantime, lawyers for Governor Greitens are asking a St. Louis judge to dismiss the criminal case against their client.
A St. Louis grand jury has indicted Greitens on one felony count of invasion of privacy.
The “St. Louis Post-Dispatch” was in the courtroom on Friday morning, and the newspaper reports St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison said he would not rule Friday or this weekend.
Greitens’ lawyers have accused St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, a former Democratic state lawmaker, of misconduct.
Greitens spoke to reporters in Jefferson City on Wednesday, describing the House committee’s report as “one-sided tabloid trash gossip.”
The governor notes the committee met behind closed doors, where his representatives and news reporters could not attend.
Beatty calls the governor’s comments Wednesday “an absolute disgrace”, and her Friday statement describes Greitens as “unfit to hold any position of public trust.”
Missouri House members are back home in their districts for an extended weekend. They’ll return to Jefferson City on Tuesday morning.
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