Missouri legislature calls special session amid Greitens scandal

Posted at 6:04 PM, May 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-04 10:34:48-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The call for the Missouri Legislature to go into a special session has received enough votes in the Senate and House. 

The House initially passed the measure Wednesday afternoon, followed by the Senate in the early evening. 

The session will last for 30 days. 

Per the state Constitution, after the legislative session there are only two ways for the legislature to return: the governor calls a special session, or the House and Senate have a majority vote to hold a special session. 

It will not be official until it’s filed with the Missouri Secretary of State. 

Lawmakers said there are two reasons for the special session. First is to give the special investigative committee more time to do their job and the second reason is to consider if articles of impeachment need to be started. 

House Speaker Todd Richardson said the decision to call a special session was not made lightly.

"Members signed this petition because they believe in a fair process that will not be rushed to conclusion by an artificial deadline. But make no mistake about it, today's actions ensure that there will be a conclusion to this process," said Richardson.

The committee was formed after Gov. Eric Greitens was indicted on an invasion of privacy charge in February. Court documents allege Greitens took a nude photograph of a woman he was having an affair with in 2015 and then transmitted the photo so it could be seen on a computer.

The committee has released two reports on allegations against Greiteins. The first report was released in April. It detailed testimony the woman at the heart of the invasion of privacy charge provided to the committee.

The second report, released earlier this week, claims Greitens lied on a campaign disclosure form about a list of donors to his charity, The Mission Continues. Attorney General Josh Hawley said Greitens illegally obtained the donor list from the charity to use for political fundraising. The committee's report agrees with Hawley's allegations. 

House Minority Leader Rep. Gail McCann Beatty sent the following statement to Scripps station KSHB in Kansas City:

“In the 30 years since Missourians granted the General Assembly the constitutional authority to call itself into special session, it has never before exercised that power. Given the high threshold for lawmaker support required, successfully doing so was long considered all but impossible. But with the alleged crimes committed by Eric Greitens and his refusal to do the honorable thing and resign, the impossible became possible.

“The House investigative committee has done outstanding work to date, but as we near the end of the regular legislative session, it is clear the committee needs additional time to finish building its case and prepare articles of impeachment for the House to consider. Pursuing impeachment against a Missouri governor is history none of us wants to make, but Eric Greitens’ actions have made it unavoidable.”