Republican lawmakers pressuring Greitens to resign amid affair fallout

Greitens releases new statement Tuesday night
Republican lawmakers pressuring Greitens to resign amid affair fallout
Posted at 3:16 PM, Jan 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-16 20:13:10-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is facing more calls for his resignation from his own party Tuesday amid the fallout from news of his affair and accusations of blackmailing his mistress. 

Five more Republicans have joined the chorus of critics calling for Greitens to resign.

Haefner, whose district includes St. Louis County, sent a statement to a St. Louis Public Radio reporter saying Greitens has lost the trust and support of many in the legislature. She also brought up accusations of Sunshine Law violations and "dark money" used in Greitens's campaign.

Conway, whose district includes St. Charles County, said in a statement to The Missouri Times, the situation prevents Greitens, his family and the state from functioning normally. She urged Greitens to resign and avoid an investigation that will embarrass Missouri on the national stage.

"I believe deeply in our system of justice, but this goes beyond possible criminal wrongdoing. This is a question of ethics and doing the right thing. ...  The honorable thing to do in this situation would be to step aside for the good of the state," said Conway.

Cookson, who serves Poplar Bluff, made a similar appeal to Greitens in a statement to 41 Action News. He called for him to step down so the work of legislatures can continue without distractions. 

Cookson's full statement:

I want to thank Eric Greitens for his service to the nation and the State of Missouri, and specifically for appointing me to the Organ Donor Task Force.  However, after the events of last week including the victim confirming that it was in fact her voice on the tape that aired Wednesday night. I want to appeal to his sense of CHARACTER, and any regard he may have for the good folks of the State of Missouri, I'm calling for him to step down and resign as Governor of the State of Missouri so that the work on the many issues he has expressed concern for can resume without these distractions. May God continue to bless Eric and his family and all the families involved, and may God bless the Great State of Missouri.

This comes the same day the Associated Press reports that a lawyer working for Greitens office reached out to a St. Louis Attorney on a fact-finding mission on the day news of the affair broke.

Attorney Al Watkins on Tuesday provided AP with audio of the call from Lucinda Luetkemeyer, general counsel in the governor's office, that occurred Jan. 10. Hours later, KMOV-TV reported details of Greitens' affair with a St. Louis woman in 2015, when the Republican was preparing to run for governor.

Watkins says it is concerning Luetkemeyer was doing "damage control" while on the state payroll, even as the governor himself has called the affair a private matter.

Luetkemeyer says in an email she didn't know then if the allegations involved Greitens' personal life or "official duties."

Following reports of Luetkemeyer reaching out to Watkins, MO State Sen. Rob Schaaf called on the governor to resign in a phone interview with 41 Action News. 

"Governor the people have lost trust in you. You cannot overcome the stench of cover-up." Schaaf went on to say, "you need to resign"

In a statement to 41 Action News, MO State Rep. Nate Walker said news of state employees being involved coupled with the statements from Conway and Haefner are a clear sign that it's now "impossible" to be an effective governor.

Tuesday evening, Greitens released a statement apologizing and saying they are focused on moving forward.