Missouri lawmakers have called on Republican Gov. Eric Greitens to resign amid allegations of sexual misconduct and blackmail, along with other legal turmoil.
“I will not be resigning the Governor’s office,” Greitens tweeted. “In three weeks, this matter will go to a court of law — where it belongs and where the facts will prove my innocence.”
The governor has been embroiled in several scandals over the past months.
Last week, a state House report revealed details from the testimony of a hairdresser Greitens had an affair with in 2015. The woman, who remained anonymous, testified before a Missouri House special investigative committee that her relations with the then-future governor were not always consensual. She accused Greitens of coercing her into oral sex and said he once slapped her.
Greitens was indicted in February on charges of first-degree felony invasion of privacy over photographs he allegedly took of the woman without her consent, which she claimed he then used to blackmail her. The governor is set to stand trial in May.
Greitens has admitted to having an extramarital affair but denied the accusations of blackmail.
On Tuesday, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced that Greitens may have committed a felony in connection to a separate issue, an investigation into a veterans charity Greitens had founded. Hawley said his office had uncovered evidence that Greitens may have used a donor list for the charity to later solicit donations in his 2016 campaign for governor, reported the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“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,” a statement from Republican House Speaker Todd Richardson and other Missouri House representatives read. “The time has come for the governor to resign.”
A letter from Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard (R-Joplin) echoed the call for Greitens to step down.
“We are past the point of concerning and alarming,” wrote the Republican Senate leader. “These alleged illegal actions are further harmful to the people of Missouri and do not represent Missouri values.”