Missouri's first Jewish governor faces state's first-ever impeachment hearing

07 May, 2018, 00:38 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • A call for the Missouri Legislature to go into a special session has received enough signatures in the House

Lawyers for Gov. Eric Greitens have filed another request to have Circuit Judge Rex Burlison decide the governor's invasion of privacy charge instead of a jury, claiming that "constant negative publicity. has destroyed any chance of obtaining a fair jury".

Greitens, a married father with two children, admitted in January to having an affair before he ran for governor.

The governor was also charged on April 20 with a felony of tampering with computer data for allegedly disclosing The Mission Continues donor list to a political fundraiser in 2015 without the permission of the charity. He'll stand trial for the first charge on May 14, and jury selection is scheduled to start May 10. If the House votes to impeach Greitens, which requires 82 votes, the Senate then would appoint a panel of seven judges to conduct a trial on whether to remove him from office.

The announcement from the Republican-held House and Senate comes as Greitens, a former Navy SEAL once considered a rising star in his party, faces widespread calls to step down amid criminal charges.

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Under Missouri law, any articles of impeachment would be proposed to the General Assembly by the special House committee.

"This was not a decision made lightly and certainly not without great deliberation and effort", Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson said. Some signed and re-signed as many as three times.

Spencer said he later scratched his name off after hearing from a couple hundred constituents, many of whom said they don't want Greitens impeached and believe the special session is a "waste of taxpayer dollars".

Republican Rep. Bryan Spencer, of Wentzville, said Friday he initially signed the petition a couple of weeks ago "to find out what the truth is" about the allegations against the governor.

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"I take my job very seriously".

He has since come under renewed fire over questions raised by his use of the donor list to his former charity, The Mission Continues, when he was running for governor. "The governor's legal team has problems with the facts of the public investigations, not the accuracy of the Post-Dispatch reporting".

That committee found Greitens illegally used the list in his campaign. In a tape recording of a conversation between the woman's ex-husband and the woman, she says Greitens threatened to release the photo if she told anyone about their encounter.

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