May 4 (UPI) — Missouri’s General Assembly has voted to hold, for the first time in state history, a special session — to decide possible impeachment for Gov. Eric Greitens.
Lawmakers announced late Thursday they had 138 House and 29 Senate signatures, more than enough to exceed the amount needed to call the session.
The special session, which would begin May 18 after the legislature adjourns its regular session for the year, would mark the first time in Missouri history that lawmakers called for the special session instead of the governor.
Greitens faces felony charges — accused of blackmailing a woman for sex and computer tampering, for misusing a veterans charity’s donor list.
Despite Republican lawmakers in both chambers calling for Greitens’ resignation, the governor has refused to leave, and said he wanted the matter to go to court, “where it belongs and where the facts will prove my innocence.”
House Speaker Todd Richardson said the path is not the one he would have chosen for Missourians.
“I’ve hoped from the beginning of this process that the committee would find no wrongdoing. … Unfortunately, this is where the facts led. We will not avoid doing what is right, just because it’s hard,” Richardson said.
Impeaching Greitens would take 82 votes in the House before it would go to the Senate for trial. If five of the seven trial judges agree he should be impeached, Lt. Gov. Mike Parson would take over until Greitens’ term ends in early 2021.