Missouri lawmakers weigh in on Governor Greitens being indicted - KCTV5

Missouri lawmakers weigh in on Governor Greitens being indicted

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Greitens released a statement saying he made a mistake but "did not commit a crime." (St. Louis Police Department) Greitens released a statement saying he made a mistake but "did not commit a crime." (St. Louis Police Department)

Missouri’s governor is out of jail, but this is far from over.

On Friday, KCTV5 News met with local lawmakers who gave us an inside look at what things are like at the Missouri statehouse.

Lawmakers in Missouri are still grappling with the indictment handed down by a grand jury on Thursday, halting any forward progress for the 2018 legislative session.

“Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, it’s shameful on the state of Missouri to have the sitting governor indicted with a felony,” said Greg Razer, a Democratic Representative for the 25th District.

Jefferson City is tense as leaders try to figure out what happens now.

“On both sides of the aisle, there’s a sense of sadness that we’re having to go through this," Razer said.

He said his constituents in KC have something to say about the embattled governor. “There’s a lot of folks that are angry at the governor,“ he said. “A lot of folks that wish the process could move faster.”

The reaction to the latest development in the political scandal is a mixed bag.

“I really haven’t heard much about it yet.”

“I think he should resign.”

“No, you know? Guilty. Let’s prove him guilty.

Related coverage: People react to Governor Greitens' indictment on social media

Many, including Republicans, are calling for the governor to resign.

When Razer was asked if that was something he supported, he said, “absolutely.” “I don’t know if he can effectively do the job of chief executive while dealing with a felony indictment,” he said.

The governor was released on his own recognizance; no bail money was posted.

Everything is very fluid at the moment and the word impeachment has been thrown around. A special committee is being formed to see if that action is necessary.

The committee will be formed in the house, and they will review allegations and charges.

Now, the legislature will do an additional investigation that will be public, like any other legislative hearing, and messy. It will be packed with state and national reporters, who will report and tweet out everything.

Lawmakers are questioning if that’s what is best for the state.

Some Republicans say it would be better to move past this and work on schools and roads instead of focusing on pictures of a naked person.

“I do think it's time for the governor to resign,” said Kevin Corlew, a Republican Representative for the 14th District. “I say that with much thought and deliberation, and saddened that, as a Republican, that I would ask a Republican governor or any governor to resign for that matter.”

Corlew said it’s a tough call and that most of his constituents back him. He just doesn’t know how the governor can lead with any kind of moral authority.

“You've got criminal proceedings taking place on one hand, and we will have legislative investigatory proceedings going,” he said. “It will be a distraction to the state of Missouri.”

Other lawmakers, including Razer, agree.

"Taking on the impeachment of the dually elected governor is a huge step and one that shouldn't be taken lightly,” Razer said. “Hopefully the governor won't put us in that position and he'll just go ahead and resign and let the people of the state move forward."

Representative Emmanuel Cleaver was in KC today and he also shared his thoughts on what is happening in his home state. 

"I’m always hesitant to talk about it because I have a plate full in Washington," he said. "I try my best to stay in my own lane.” 

He did say he knows there is tension at the statehouse and even in the governor's own party, however.

He added, "It would be good if it was resolved quickly." "I don’t know any human being would want this to go on for months and months and months," he said. 

He said that, even if it gets resolved quickly, it could have lingering effects in Missouri politics. He said he wants Missouri out of the headlines and that he wants state lawmakers to be given the chance to get back to work.

"I don’t even think it’s going to be a good thing even if it melts away," he said.

He said he does not know the governor well enough to offer advice or predict what he might choose to do; he's only met Greitens once.

He does want people to remember something, however. 

"Sometimes we forget when these things happen that some real live human beings are impacted," he said.

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