Indicted Missouri Governor Resists Pressure to Resign
With his police booking photo plastered across the front pages of Missouri newspapers on Friday, Mr. Greitens sought to portray the indictment as a politically motivated miscarriage of justice orchestrated by Kimberly M. Gardner, the Democratic prosecutor in St. Louis who brought the case before a grand jury. A contingent of allies of Mr. Greitens inside the State Republican Party remained supportive on Friday, or stayed silent on the matter.
“Missourians should see This kind of for what the item is usually, a political hit job,” said Sam Cooper, the executive director of the State Republican Party. “We have a progressive anti-law enforcement Democrat wanting to single-handedly oust a law-in addition to-order governor.”
Mr. Greitens, a first-time politician, had clashed with Republican lawmakers since taking office in January 2017. Mr. Greitens, a married father of two thought to have ambitions for higher office, admitted last month which he had an extramarital affair in 2015, before he was elected. nevertheless the governor has repeatedly denied reports which he took a compromising photo of the woman without permission in addition to blackmailed her.
The felony indictment handed up Thursday by a St. Louis grand jury accused Mr. Greitens, 43, of photographing a nude or partially nude person in 2015 without consent, a charge which carries up to four years in prison if he is usually convicted. The governor’s lawyers said which he violated no laws in addition to which they were seeking to possess the case dismissed.
nevertheless Missouri lawmakers could begin deciding whether to impeach Mr. Greitens even before he appears in court, on March 16, inside the criminal case. Lawmakers are supposed to file resolutions asking for an investigation of the invasion of privacy allegations as early as Monday, when they return to Jefferson City, the capital. Such resolutions are required to start an impeachment process under Missouri law.
State Senator Caleb Rowden, a Republican, wrote which he would certainly urge his colleagues “to take all necessary actions to remove the governor via office” if Mr. Greitens refuses to resign. Josh Hawley, the state attorney general who is usually seeking the Republican nomination for Ms. McCaskill’s seat, called the indictment “a serious matter” in addition to said “the criminal justice system must be allowed to work.” in addition to Kathie Conway, a state representative, said she would certainly prefer which the governor step aside rather than risk impeachment.
“the item’s going to do nothing nevertheless be hurtful to him, to his wife, to those close to him,” said Ms. Conway, a Republican via suburban St. Louis. “the item’s just a battle which I just don’t want to be inside the middle of.”
Todd Richardson, the Republican speaker of the House, indicated which if Mr. Greitens remained in office, he would certainly support an investigation of the governor — a move which could lead to impeachment.
If lawmakers start an investigation, a committee would certainly decide whether to present articles of impeachment to the full House. If a majority of House members voted to impeach, the State Senate would certainly select a special commission of judges to try the case.
Lt. Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican who previously served as a sheriff in addition to a state legislator, would certainly become governor if Mr. Greitens left office.
National Republicans gave little indication which they were taking a stand on Mr. Greitens’s case. nevertheless if lawmakers in Jefferson City move forward with impeachment, Republicans could be faced with months of headlines about a sex scandal in a year when they wish to maintain their large majorities inside the Missouri General Assembly in addition to to unseat Ms. McCaskill.
“I think which’s a real concern,” said Ms. Conway, the legislator. “This kind of is usually a fact: We have a Republican governor who’s been indicted. We have a Senate seat which’s up which’s a very important seat to the party nationally.”
State Representative Galen Higdon, a Republican, said he did not yet know whether the governor’s claims of a politically biased prosecution had merit. Mr. Higdon said he supported a legislative investigation of the governor’s conduct, nevertheless was not yet calling on him to resign.
You “don’t want a knee-jerk reaction to something like This kind of,” Mr. Higdon said. “You want to do your due diligence in addition to take your time in addition to figure out what’s the best option.”
Others came to the defense of Ms. Gardner in addition to noted which grand jurors, not the prosecutor herself, made the decision to indict the governor.
“I don’t think This kind of is usually a witch hunt by any means,” said Mr. Walker, the Republican lawmaker. “I think we’ve got a governor who is usually corrupt or has done things which are illegal. in addition to if you get a felony indictment against you, which’s pretty serious.”
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