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Leaders in MO House, Senate call for Greitens to resign

Posted: 7:24 PM, Apr 17, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-18 11:32:43Z

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The leaders of the Missouri House and Senate called for Governor Eric Greitens's resignation Tuesday night in separate statements.

House Speaker Todd Richardson, House Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr, and House Majority Floor Leader Rob Vescovo called for the governor to step down in a joint statement saying, "the governor needs to take responsibility for his actions."

"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," the statement read.

They said the decision came after Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley said he has evidence to support an additional felony charge.

Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard said in a statement that it's his "wish that we immediately start impeachment proceedings." Richard said his decision came after speaking to Hawley. 

"The weight of his [Greitens's] 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," Richard's statement read in part.

Greitens also released a statement Tuesday saying his innocence will be proven in court and he has no intention of stepping down.

"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," Greitens said in a statement.

Richardson, Haahr's and Vescovo full statement can be read below:

“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.”  

Richard sent out the following statement:

“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.”