Missouri lawmakers react to governor's indictment

Missouri lawmakers react to governor's indictment. (File)

Missouri lawmakers reacted at the Capitol following Gov. Eric Greitens indictment by a St. Louis Grand Jury.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Kehoe said he was disappointed by the news and had no notice beforehand.

"Elected officials are and should be held to a higher standard," he said.

Sen. Kehoe also said that he doesn't expect it to impact the daily function of state government.

"This is an indictment," he said. "This is not something that has been proven. I'm sure the prosecutor in St. Louis intends to try to make her case and at this point in time, just learning about it, I'd have to kind of reflect on it before we decide what actions we would take from here."

He later released a statement saying that it is not his position to determine the governor's guilt or innocence.

"That is for the court to decide," Sen. Kehoe said in his statement.

Sen. Kehoe also addressed Gov. Greitens' leadership and his position in office.

"However, the news of his indictment today causes me to question whether the governor has the ability to effectively lead the state going forward. His actions have damaged the reputation of the office," Sen. Kehoe said. "As a Navy SEAL, the governor knows well the responsibilities of command and leadership."

"I take no pleasure in questioning his leadership ability going forward, but I do so with the confidence that Missouri is greater than one individual. My primary concern is, and will continue to be, the best interest of the state of Missouri.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley stated he would be confident in the results of the Missouri House investigation.

Speaker of the House Todd Richardson, Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr, and Majority Floor Leader Rob Vescovo also released the following joint statement:

“We will carefully examine the facts contained in the indictment and answer the question as to whether or not the governor can lead our state while a felony case moves forward. The people of Missouri deserve no less. We will begin the process of tasking a group of legislators to investigate these serious charges.”

House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty issued a statement shortly after the news of the governor's indictment circulated suggesting his resignation.

"It will be extremely difficult for the governor to effectively do his job with a felony indictment hanging over his head," Rep. Beatty said in her statement. "While the criminal justice system must run its course, the governor needs to consider whether remaining in office under these circumstances is the right thing to do for not only himself and his family but for the people of Missouri."

Sen. Jamilah Nasheed has called on House Speaker Todd Richardson to begin the impeachment process.

“Gov. Greitens has to go,” Sen. Nasheed said. "Missourians thought they voted for a person of character and integrity, and instead they got a liar and alleged criminal."

Under Missouri law, the process to impeach the state's governor must begin in the House of Representatives.

Though Gov. Greitens' has been indicted, he still holds office.

Sen. Rob Schaaf believes Gov. Greitens end to his political career is imminent.

"He's done," Schaaf tweeted.

Missouri Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Webber also weighed in on the news calling Gov. Greitens a stain on the Show-Me State.

Missouri Senate minority leader Gina Walsh released a statement as well:

“Right now, my thoughts are with the women and families whose lives are forever changed because of Eric Greitens’ behavior and actions," she said. "Too often, women in our state and nation are subject to intimidation, threats and even violence at the hands of those in power. No more. It’s time our state takes a stand and ensures that women everywhere are able to seek the justice and equality they rightfully deserve.”

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