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Top Republican legislative leaders call on Greitens to resign

Any remaining support Gov. Eric Greitens may have had from the Missouri legislature’s top Republican leaders is now gone.

Both House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, and Senate President Pro-tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin, say it’s time for Greitens to step down.

In a written statement Tuesday, Richardson, along with Speaker Pro-tem Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield, and GOP Floor Leader Rob Vescovo, R-Arnold, cited Attorney General Josh Hawley’s report that alleges Greitens illegally used a list of donors from a charity he founded to raise money for his gubernatorial campaign.

“We believe the governor needs to take responsibility for his actions. Leaders at all levels of government are entrusted with an incredible responsibility to the Missourians we represent. When leaders lose the ability to effectively lead our state, the right thing to do is step aside.”

After the statement was released Greitens again said he would not resign.Loading...

Greitens also faces an invasion of privacy trial next month for allegedly taking a seminude photo of a woman with whom he had an affair before he was governor, without her consent.

While also calling for Greitens to resign, Richard went a step further: “Because of the severity of the allegations, it is my wish that we immediately start impeachment proceedings.”

“We are past the point of concerning and alarming,” Richard said. “Since his time in office, the governor has caused tension, conflict and hostility. The weight of his actions are being felt throughout the state. Now, these alleged illegal actions are further harmful to the people of Missouri and do not represent Missouri values.”

Meanwhile, a petition is being circulated among House members that would call the chamber into a special session, for the purpose of considering any actions that could be recommended by the committee investigating Greitens. Among those who’ve already signed is Rep. Marsha Haefner, R-Oakville.

“Most of my colleagues have a high level of respect for Speaker Richardson and trust his judgment,” she said. “Hopefully we will be able to at least [have] the opportunity to let the committee finish [its] work and then make a decision as to what direction we want to go.”

Haefner called on the governor to resign nearly two months ago, as did fellow Republican Rep. Shamed Dogan, R-Ballwin. Dogan said he’s especially alarmed now about the findings in Hawley’s investigation that allege Greitens used a donor list from The Mission Continues to raise money for his gubernatorial campaign.

“Before I got elected to office I worked for Washington University doing fundraising,” Dogan said. “It’s an issue that’s easy for me to understand — you do not commingle non-profit lists with political activity.”

Greitens issued a response to House and Senate Republican leaders via Twitter:

Follow Marshall on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

Copyright 2020 St. Louis Public Radio. To see more, visit .

Marshall Griffin is the Statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio.
Marshall Griffin
St. Louis Public Radio State House Reporter Marshall Griffin is a native of Mississippi and proud alumnus of Ole Miss (welcome to the SEC, Mizzou!). He has been in radio for over 20 years, starting out as a deejay. His big break in news came when the first President Bush ordered the invasion of Panama in 1989. Marshall was working the graveyard shift at a rock station, and began ripping news bulletins off an old AP teletype and reading updates between songs. From there on, his radio career turned toward news reporting and anchoring. In 1999, he became the capital bureau chief for Florida's Radio Networks, and in 2003 he became News Director at WFSU-FM/Florida Public Radio. During his time in Tallahassee he covered seven legislative sessions, Governor Jeb Bush's administration, four hurricanes, the Terri Schiavo saga, and the 2000 presidential recount. Before coming to Missouri, he enjoyed a brief stint in the Blue Ridge Mountains, reporting and anchoring for WWNC-AM in Asheville, North Carolina. Marshall lives in Jefferson City with his wife, Julie, their dogs, Max and Liberty Belle, and their cat, Honey.
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