JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The leader of the Missouri State Senate is calling for the Governor to step down or face impeachment proceedings after the announcement from the Attorney General Tuesday. And late Tuesday night, the House Minority Leader took the first step in that impeachment process.
In a press release, Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard calls for Governor Eric Greitens to resign from office after Attorney General Josh Hawley said he found evidence showing Greitens illegally used a donor list from the non-profit Greitens founded.
"After speaking with the attorney general today, I believe the governor has no other respectable option than to resign from office," Richard said in the release.
In addition to his call for Greitens to resign, he said he wishes to "immediately start impeachment proceedings.”
Members of the Missouri House joined the call for Greitens to resign at about the same time.
A few minutes later, Greitens released a statement saying he would not resign.
"I will not be resigning the Governor's office," the statement said. "In three weeks, this matter will go to a court of law—where it belongs and where the facts will prove my innocence. Until then, I will do what the people of Missouri sent me here to do: to serve them and work hard on their behalf."
Late Tuesday night, House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty filed a resolution which would allow the Special Investigative Committee on Oversight to introduce articles of impeachment.
The other statements from earlier in the day are as follows:
Senate Pro Tem Ron Richard
“For the last several months, I have been in constant contact with the speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives and the Missouri attorney general. We have reached a critical turning point in the allegations made against the governor. The decisions made going forward will have a significant effect on the state of Missouri. After speaking with the attorney general today, I believe the governor has no other respectable option than to resign from office.
We are past the point of concerning and alarming. 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. It’s time for the governor to find the courage in his heart and do what is in the best interests of the people he serves and step aside.
This is not a sentiment held lightly. Serving the people of Missouri is an extraordinary honor, one I believe requires each elected official to rise to the occasion. Sometimes that occasion is knowing when it’s time to step aside.
Because of the severity of the allegations, it is my wish that we immediately start impeachment proceedings.”
Members of House Leadership
House Speaker Todd Richardson, House Speaker Pro Rem Elijah Haahr, and House Majority Floor Leader Rob Vescovo issued the following statement calling for Gov. Eric Greitens to resign from office:
"At the outset of this process, we said the governor needed to be forthright and accountable for his actions.After thoughtful consideration of the findings in the House committee's report and today's news that the Attorney General has evidence to support another felony charge, 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. In our view, the time has come for the governor to resign."