JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Special Investigative Committee on Oversight met for the first time Tuesday night. The seven-person bipartisan committee is tasked with investigating the allegations of invasion of privacy against Missouri Governor Eric Greitens.
The first official meeting only lasted a total of two minutes and 30 seconds. Rep. Jay Barnes, the chairman of the committee, spoke very little to his own committee and directed his comments towards journalists in the room. He told reporters to not seek out the witnesses they are subpoenaing.
“As a committee that wants to go through a fact-finding process, having that completely open would destroy the purpose of the meeting,” said Rep. Barnes (R-Jefferson City).
Chairman Barnes revealed, they will release their findings once they are done.
“Until then, you are not going to get any comments from me or members of this committee or hints from members of this committee. You are wasting your time trying,” he said.
State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed (D- St. Louis) said that move was unacceptable.
“I don’t believe they should have a closed door committee hearing. I think what people are looking, for now, more than ever before, is transparency,’ said Sen. Nasheed.
She believes, because the Governor violated the trust of Missouri citizens, the legislature should do everything they can to rebuild that trust.
“I think that they should allow for people to come in and hear the evidence. They should also allow the media to come in so that they can do their job,” she said.
State Sen. Paul Weiland (R-Jefferson County) sees it differently.
“Some people are more reluctant if there are cameras in the room then if there’s not, and I think sometimes you’ll get a more honest response from people if there aren’t cameras,” said Sen. Weiland.
Weiland praised Chairman Barnes for keeping things close to his vest.
“If you were to divulge exactly what steps you were going to take and what you are to look for, you are notifying everybody how to taint their testimony,” he said.
The special committee will reconvene Wednesday morning at the Jefferson City Police Station.
We’re told that’s being done to ensure the witnesses they are speaking to, will have privacy from the public and the press.