JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CN) — For the first time in state history, Missouri lawmakers have called a special session that could lead to the impeachment of the governor, Eric Greitens.
The special session will begin 30 minutes after the end of the regular session on May 18. The decision came after 138 House members and 29 senators in Missouri’s Republican-dominated Legislature signed a petition calling for the session due to the controversies surrounding Greitens, a Republican.
Greitens faces two felony charges.
The first is an invasion of privacy charge stemming from a nude photo he allegedly took of a mistress. That trial is scheduled to begin on May 14.
The second is a computer tampering charge relating to use of a donor list from a nonprofit Greitens started, that was used to solicit donations for his gubernatorial campaign. Such use would compromise the charity’s nonprofit status.
“This path is not the one I would have chosen for Missouri and my colleagues,” House Speaker Todd Richardson said in a news conference announcing the special session. “Unfortunately, this is where the facts led.”
No Missouri governor has ever been impeached. Only one state official has been: Secretary of State Judi Moriarty in 1994.
The state House has the power of impeachment. If 50 percent of representatives plus one vote to advance articles of impeachment, the articles would be sent to the Senate.
The Senate would then select a special commission to try the impeachment, and seven eminent jurists who are sitting judges of the circuit or appellate courts in Missouri. They would serve as the judge and jury. A five-sevenths majority is required to convict.