A Missouri senator is calling for the resignation of Governor Eric Greitens. The demand for resignation follows allegations of Greitens using public funds to cover up an extramarital affair he had in 2015, prior to becoming Governor.
Senator Robert Schaaf addressed the Governor on the Senate floor Tuesday, bringing attention to Greitens use of state paid attorney to cover up the private matter of his affair.
“Now that it has been revealed that Lucinda Luetkemeyer, your chief counsel, tried to cover up the story, you have made governing impossible. Her salary is paid by the taxpayers and no matter how you spin it, you cannot escape the sentch of cover up,” Schaaf said.
Schaaf’s list of allegations against Greitens include the misuse of public funds, sexual abuse, and blackmail of his former mistress to insure her silence.
The scandal has been the buzz around Jefferson City for over a week. And while some are asking for the Governors resignation, others are waiting on more information to surface.
“As for an investigation, I think we need to slow down a little bit, because what we are working with right now are allegations. I’m sure the Governor and his family have a lot to do on their plate. I think as the legislature goes on, calls for resignation, impeachment I think are a little bit premature,” Missouri Representative Pat Conway said.
While Greitens personal discrepancies alone are not grounds for impeachment, the investigation into allegations of the Governor blackmailing his former mistress are still being reviewed.
Missouri Western State University Political Science Professor Melinda Kovacs emphasised the legality of Greitens resignation or potential impeachment is not based on the affair itself, but on the events that have unfolded since.
“Extramarital affairs may be very distasteful, but they are not illegal.You cannot impeach someone because you think they did something untored, or unbecoming or immoral. The only way you can impeach someone is if you can make a legitimate claim that they broke a law,” Kovacs said.
Regardless of the legitimacy of the allegations against Greitens, lawmakers are not feeling optimistic about the outcome of this legislative session.
“With the Governor’s occurrence, with the fact that term limits are going to take one of the largest and most significant number of members out of the general assembly, and it also being an election year, I am not really very optimistic that we’re going to get a lot accomplished,” Conway said.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has launched a formal investigation into the allegations against Governor Greitens. While Gardner is currently the only attorney looking into the allegations against Governor Greitens,Shaaf will continue to push for his resignation.
“The most important thing is that the people of Missouri must be able to have confidence in their government. But given everything that has happened, they might forgive but they won't forget. So Governor, I’m asking you, please resign,” Schaaf said.