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Missouri lawmakers call for special session to weigh governor's impeachment

Missouri state lawmakers announced Thursday that they will hold a special session later this month to consider impeachment proceedings against Gov. Eric Greitens (R).

The state legislature will convene on May 18 to consider discipline against Greitens, who has been accused of coercing a woman into sexual acts and improperly obtaining a donor list from a charity and then lying about it.

“This path is not the one that I would’ve chosen for Missourians or my colleagues,” House Speaker Todd Richardson (R) said at a press conference. 

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“Unfortunately this is where the facts led,” he added. “We will not avoid doing what is right just because it is hard, just because it’s not the path we hoped to travel.” 

Greitens has faced pressure to resign over the scandals from numerous state lawmakers and other state officials, including Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley (R).

The governor, once considered a rising star in the Republican Party, has remained defiant and vowed that he'll be vindicated.

His criminal trial on felony invasion of privacy charges begins May 14, four days before the special session. 

The special session is unprecedented in Missouri. The state constitution allows for lawmakers to call a special session if three-quarters of representatives in each chamber agree to do so. 

In the Senate, 26 members and 123 House members had to sign a petition calling for the session. 

In the end, 29 senators and 138 House members approved the measure, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.