As Greitens’ troubles mount, lawmakers forced to adjust

With four weeks left in the Missouri Legislature’s session and Gov. Eric Greitens facing fresh charges of a second felony, some state lawmakers are trying to maintain a semblance of normalcy in the midst of a session that has been anything but orthodox.

New felony

The Republican governor has been charged with computer tampering, a felony, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner announced Friday evening. That’s on top of another felony charge, for invasion of privacy, that Greitens will go to trial for in May.

The new charge stems from Greitens allegedly stealing a list of donors to the Mission Continues, the veterans charity he founded, to use it for political fundraising.

That charge came at the end of a week that saw lawmakers increasingly trying to isolate their political fortunes — and state legislation — from Greitens.

House petition 

On Thursday, House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, said a “substantial” number of House Republicans had signed a petition calling for a special session to address impeaching Greitens.

Richardson declined to say how many of the chamber’s 114 Republicans had signed the petition, but he said he planned to hand it over to Democrats this week.

Richardson resisted calls for immediate impeachment, saying he wanted to let a House committee investigating Greitens to finish its work before he made any decisions.

Senate gridlock 

Meanwhile, Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin, suggested he may delay any bills approved by the legislature as long as he can to avoid having Greitens decide on them until his future is determined.

Read more: Kansas City Star, St. Louis Public Radio, Springfield News-Leader

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