JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Longtime statesman and immediate past lt. governor Peter Kinder has called for the Governor to resign or the House to impeach Gov. Eric Greitens after the release of a House investigation report detailing explicit details of an affair.
“As he campaigned for Governor, Eric Greitens decried corruption in our state Capitol and pledged to be the cleansing agent against that corruption, all the while upholding honor, dignity and clean government,” Kinder said. “This included a debate lecture to me about a time, decades earlier, when I’d failed to live up to that standard. When he won the primary and general elections, and then as he took office, we Republicans hoped for the best.
“Those hopes have been dashed into bitter disappointment. Because of his actions, and for no other reason, his capacity for the leadership our state needs has drained away.
“Make no mistake: All the hard-won gains we conservatives have achieved in Missouri since Ronald Reagan’s first election in 1980 are now at risk. Progress on fiscal responsibility; the right to life of the innocent unborn; vitally needed tax and education reforms; property rights — all these, and so many others, now hang in the balance. A Governor of our party should be leading the successful effort to defend our new right to work law at the polls in a few months. Who among us now believes that the Governor can provide that leadership?
“Accordingly, and with great sadness, I ask that Gov. Greitens resign his office or, failing that, I call on my friends in the House of Representatives to commence impeachment as provided in the Constitution.”
Kinder’s call came along with other calls for resignation and one, from Lt. Gov. Mike Parson, called for unity and focus for the state, but did not delve into whether he thought the Governor should resign or if the legislature should act to remove him.
“With the recent events that have distracted our great state, I want to say with all sincerity that it is time to unite and put aside our differences,” Parson said. “Over the course of several months, it has been a trying time for many people. My heart goes out to the families involved. However, all Missourians must continue to stay focused on the task at hand – moving Missouri forward. We owe it to ourselves and generations to come.”
On Thursday, U.S. Representative Ann Wagner released the following statement on Twitter:
“This is a sad chapter in our history that should never have come to pass. Two months ago, after the disturbing allegations against the Governor came to light, I called for an immediate and transparent investigation,” she stated. “The transcripts paint the picture of a vulnerable woman and a man who preyed on that vulnerability. I am disgusted, disheartened, and I believe Governor Greitens is unfit to lead our state.”
U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill tweeted that she “can’t get my head around a man’s character that would put his wife and children through this kind of pain.”
“I have read the official report from the Republican-led Missouri House investigation, including the sworn testimony. It is clearly time to put the interests of the people of Missouri first. The Governor should resign,” she said.
Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, who is running against McCaskill this year, also weighed in on the matter.
“The House Investigative Committee’s Report contains shocking, substantial, and corroborated evidence of wrongdoing by Governor Greitens,” he said in a statement. “The conduct the Report details is certainly impeachable, in my judgment, and the House is well within its rights to proceed on that front. But the people of Missouri should not be put through that ordeal. Governor Greitens should resign immediately.”
Investigative committee members Assistant House Minority Leader Gina Mitten and State Rep. Tommie Pierson Jr.:
“With today’s report, one component of the House investigation into the governor’s alleged wrongdoing comes to a close. But due to the time and resource constraints, including conducting this work while also keeping up with our regular day-to-day duties as lawmakers, it is necessary for the committee to extend its investigation in order to finish examining issues beyond those included in the report.
“Our committee remains dedicated to its task and will not be deterred by Eric Greitens’ baseless attacks on our witnesses, our integrity or our common sense. And as we move forward, we remain sympathetic to the victim and the governor’s family for what they are being forced to endure as a result of the governor’s actions and choices.
“There are victims of physical and sexual assault who will have great difficulty processing the contents of this report, and they should know we support them.”