Missouri politics got even messier on Tuesday night after Attorney General Josh Hawley asked the St. Louis circuit attorney to file criminal charges against Governor Eric Greitens, a fellow Republican, for illegally obtaining a fundraising list from a veterans charity he founded, and using it to solicit campaign donations. Greitens is already facing a May 14 trial on a felony invasion of privacy charge related to an affair.
Last week state legislators released testimony from Greitens’s former lover in which she accused him of forcing her into a sexual encounter, hitting her, taking a nude photo without her consent, and threatening to blackmail her. GOP legislative leaders said the legislative committee would continue its investigation and decide whether to file an article of impeachment after May 18, the end of the legislative session.
But now legislative leaders have decided the addition of the alleged campaign finance violation is too much to bear. House Speaker Todd Richardson, House Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr, and House Majority Floor Leader Rob Vescovo, all Republicans, released a joint statement on Tuesday evening calling on Greitens to step down.
Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard said in a separate statement that if Greitens doesn’t resign, the House should begin impeachment proceedings immediately.
“We are past the point of concerning and alarming. Since his time in office, the governor has caused tension, conflict, and hostility. The weight of his actions are being felt throughout the state,” Richard said.
Grietens indicated that they’ll have to force him out.
Greitens has admitted to the affair, but claimed the sex was entirely consensual and denied the blackmail allegations. He’s claimed he’s the victim of a “witch hunt,” just like President Trump.