The Missouri House Speaker says a “significant number” of House Republicans have signed a petition to call themselves into a special session regarding Governor Eric Greitens’ future.
Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, spoke to the Capitol Press Corps Thursday afternoon in Jefferson City.
“We’ve made significant progress again this week and we’ve begun the discussions with the minority (Democratic) party to get their members’ signatures, so that process is on track and moving forward,” Richardson says.
While the Poplar Bluff Republican won’t provide an exact number, he says a majority of Republicans have signed it and expects a majority of House Democrats to sign.
It would take a three-fourths majority of both chambers to call themselves into a special session.
Republicans control the House 115-47, but it will take Democratic votes to get to the three-fourths mark, which is 123.
House Minority Whip Kip Kendrick, D-Columbia, also briefed Capitol reporters on Thursday, after Richardson and GOP lawmakers spoke. Kendrick doesn’t think Republicans have the three-fourths yet to call themselves into a special session.
“I don’t believe they are there yet,” Kendrick tells reporters. “I will say that the Democrats, we still believe that we can move forward at this point with an indictment, with an impeachment. An impeachment is nothing but an indictment.”
The Missouri House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight is still holding meetings, and could draft articles of impeachment to be reported to the full House.
Adoption of any articles of impeachment would require 82 votes in the Missouri House. If that would happen, the Senate would select “seven eminent jurists” to try the case, under the Missouri Constitution.
Governor Greitens (R) has described the House committee’s report issued this month as “one-sided tabloid trash gossip.”
Greitens has also noted that the committee has met behind closed doors, without the news media present.
In February, a St. Louis City grand jury indicted Greitens for one felony count of invasion of privacy, for an alleged March 2015 incident. Greitens has admitted to an affair, but has denied any wrongdoing.
Last Friday, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner, a former Democratic state lawmaker, charged Greitens with felony tampering with computer data, involving the Mission Continues charity. Greitens has denied wrongdoing in that case as well.
Meantime, Edward “Chip” Robertson, a former Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice, is the new special counsel for the House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight. Robertson served on the Supreme Court from 1985 until 1998.
Speaker Richardson was asked about the development Thursday, during his press briefing.
“It signals to me that the House committee felt like it needed some additional help, both with the investigation and with the legal matters that are involved in that investigation,” says Richardson.
The “Kansas City Star” reports Robertson and former Pettis County Prosecutor Mark Kempton will only be paid for out-of-pocket expenses.
Speaker Richardson tells Missourinet the House committee will issue another report about Greitens “in the near future.”
Richardson indicates they’re looking at the Mission Continues charity.
Copyright © 2018 · Missourinet