Missouri state Senators speculated about events surrounding a rift between Governor Eric Greitens and Attorney General Josh Hawley on Wednesday.
Shortly after Greitens filed a restraining order against fellow Republican Hawley, Democratic Senator Jamilah Nasheed of St. Louis spoke on the Senate floor about a rumor she heard. After mentioning that Hawley supports moving the date of a Right-to-Work ballot measure, Nasheed said Greitens is planning to respond.
“Now he’s saying that if it hits his desk, if a bill hits his desk for the August (election), which would benefit Hawley, he’s going to veto it,” said Nasheed.
A bill from Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston, would move the ballot measure, which is supported by business interests, from the November election to an August ballot.
Sen. Gina Walsh, D-Bellefontaine Neighbors, said if the rumor is true, then Greitens is disrupting the legislative process for personal reasons.
“People are threatening and leveraging the power of the pen against legislators who work diligently in these chambers to accomplish what they think is right for their constituents,” said Walsh.
Organized labor opposes the Right-to-Work measure which does away with the requirement for workers to join unions in shops where the organizations negotiate employee pay and benefits.
Nasheed issued a statement Wednesday calling on the St. Louis circuit attorney to file charges against Greitens after Hawley said the governor could have committed a felony. Hawley announced Tuesday that he’d turned over evidence to St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner after an investigation by his office determined that Greitens might have committed a felony by taking and using a charity donor list for campaign fundraising without proper permission.
An attorney for Governor Greitens filed a court document asking for a temporary restraining order Wednesday that aims to remove Hawley’s office from investigating Greitens and his administration. The request filed in Cole County also asked for a special prosecutor to be assigned for any further investigation into Greitens’s activity.
Nasheed characterized Hawley’s physical stature while she chastised Greitens’ move for a restraining order as a strongarm tactic.
“I’m just taken aback,” Nasheed said. “I mean here you have this tough, you know, Navy SEAL guy that’s looking for a restraining order on little old Josh Hawley. He’s so small.”
Nasheed also suggested in a Tuesday tweet that Greitens might not be in a stable mental state after numerous investigations and a felony charge surrounding his activity.
Her tweet read: “I fear for my life and his because he’s a psychopath. He’s a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.”
A judge in St. Louis today declined to grant a motion to dismiss a felony charge against Greitens over his alleged blackmail attempt of a woman he was having an affair with in 2015. Judge Rex Burlison is allowing witnesses to be deposed for a second time after Greitens’ defense complained the prosecution was withholding crucial evidence. A state House committee is investigating accusations he took a sexually-explicit photo of his ex-mistress without her permission and threatened to blackmail her with it, physically abused, sexually coerced her.
The state Ethics Commission is also investigating Greitens’ illegal use of a donor list from his former charity organization for campaign purposes.
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