Missouri Republican legislators call on embattled GOP governor to resign

A number of Republican state lawmakers issued blistering calls Tuesday for Gov. Eric Greitens to step down, a sign of...

Posted: Jan 17, 2018 10:58 AM
Updated: Jan 17, 2018 10:58 AM

A number of Republican state lawmakers issued blistering calls Tuesday for Gov. Eric Greitens to step down, a sign of mounting pressure on the embattled governor in the aftermath of allegations that he had blackmailed a woman he had an affair with.

The lawmakers included state Rep. Nate Walker, who was one of Greitens' earliest supporters during the contentious Republican primary, listed in January 2016 among the campaign's state leadership team.

The Missouri state Legislature reconvenes Tuesday

Gov. Eric Greitens has sought lawmaker support amid an infidelity scandal

Walker said Tuesday that Greitens' "scandal will make it impossible to lead the state going forward."

"It is my belief the governor should resign so that the state can move forward focusing on the issues that we all care about," Walker added.

Earlier in the day, state Reps. Marsha Haefner and Kathie Conway also had issued calls for the governor to step down, expressing doubts that he would be able to govern effectively in light of the controversy enveloping him.

"I find no pleasure in saying this, but I believe Gov. Greitens is no longer fit to hold Missouri's highest office," Haefner said. Greitens, she added, "no longer has the trust and support of many in the Legislature."

"We have to work as a team to accomplish what citizens expect us to do, but our leader is now ineffective," Haefner continued. "Missourians deserve better. There is too much at stake."

Conway, who had spoken with the governor in recent days and noted that she's a longtime supporter of his, said she had taken "the weekend to think, study the facts and pray about" her decision. "With that heavy heart," Conway added, "I ask the governor to consider resigning and allow the state to move forward with its work for our citizens."

Conway also invoked her experience as a former criminal investigator to warn of a potentially "long process that will be humiliating to everyone" in the coming weeks.

"There would be no privacy that can be realistically offered when the governor of a state is under investigation," Conway said. "All the while, our state will continue to be embarrassed on the national stage."

The calls for Greitens to step down came as the Missouri Legislature was set to reconvene Tuesday.

Privately, Greitens has attempted to prevent the floodgates from opening. Last week, as CNN previously reported, he phoned state Senate and House lawmakers of both parties - apologizing for his affair, denying the allegations of blackmail and assuring them there would be no new revelations. His wife, Sheena, joined him on the line for some of those calls.

Meanwhile the governor has maintained a low public profile, abruptly postponing a statewide tour to promote a tax-cut proposal that had been slated for this week.

But in spite of his efforts, Greitens likely will not be able to shake his controversy soon. St. Louis circuit attorney Kim Gardner announced last week that she has opened a formal investigation into the governor, opening the door for new details or revelations to emerge.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 306538

Reported Deaths: 5435
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Lake26872453
Allen17621295
Elkhart16905219
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Hamilton12696167
Vanderburgh9552115
Tippecanoe844927
Porter813785
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Washington7417
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Carroll67913
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 371840

Reported Deaths: 6100
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin50231667
Cuyahoga36047741
Hamilton29931372
Montgomery20065228
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Summit13388316
Stark8792197
Warren819175
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Lorain643499
Clermont577248
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Greene522364
Clark511464
Allen465485
Marion465251
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Pickaway399348
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Portage344872
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Mercer289945
Hancock241337
Ross240759
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Putnam224749
Erie224266
Darke223559
Ashtabula223253
Geauga203351
Scioto195915
Union19118
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Lawrence189438
Athens18864
Seneca180018
Belmont164929
Madison158918
Sandusky154229
Preble152621
Huron152318
Defiance139522
Holmes139139
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Knox126318
Fulton124525
Washington121927
Crawford121516
Ottawa121130
Clinton106714
Williams10579
Ashland105222
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Jefferson10124
Henry100023
Brown9925
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Jackson93112
Hardin91019
Fayette90317
Van Wert8976
Morrow8882
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Coshocton82613
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Pike7451
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Harrison2023
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