JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Republican leaders in the Missouri House and Senate are calling on Governor Eric Greitens to resign. A statement from Sen. President Pro Tem Ron Richard called for impeachment proceedings to begin immediately. A statement from House Leadership said the time for Greitens to resign is now.
State Rep. Nate Walker, (R) Kirksville, was one of the governor’s early supporters. He was also one of the first Republicans to call for the governor to resign.
“He needs to accept responsibility. Go ahead and resign and if not, the General Assembly will probably take some sort of action against him,” said Walker. “It’s not good for the state of Missouri and certainly he should understand that but I guess he doesn’t.”
State Rep. Steve Cookson, (R) Poplar Bluff, expressed frustration over how the governor’s woes are overshadowing the work of lawmakers.
“I don’t know why we have to be in this situation. I really don’t, because I don’t think one person is more important than the entire state,” he said.
Earlier in the day House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty, (D) Kansas City, renewed her calls for the governor to resign.
“I think it just adds to the fact that it’s time for the governor to turn in his resignation,” she said.
State Rep. Clem Smith, (D) Velda Village Hills, is one of many lawmakers who remember how Gov. Greitens campaigned as a political outsider.
“When you come into office call people all kinds of crooks and liars and you’re going to drain the swamp and you know some of the things you’ve heard the President say, you’re not going to have many friends when the house of cards starts falling down.”
The House leadership released the following statement Tuesday evening:
“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.”
Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard says Greitens should resign:
“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.”
Governor Greitens statement to calls for his resignation:
"I will not be resigning the Governor's office. 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."