If HR 2 adopted, Greitens’ defense team will be allowed to attend hearings, no cross-examination
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri General Assembly embarked on a history-making special session on Friday evening and did so without any fanfare.
Each chamber was in session for less than five minutes. The Senate and the House, gavelled in, established a quorum, read the necessary resolution stating they were convened, and gavelled out. They conducted no other business.
A committee was formed at the end of February to look into different allegations surrounding Gov. Eric Greitens and got to work to first of March.
The committee has looked into Greitens’ extramarital affair — releasing a graphic report on April 11 that detailed instances of slapping, coercion, and more with a supplemental report on April 30 — and the misuse of The Mission Continues donor list — a report released May 2 indicated Greitens came into possession of the list without permission. The committee is also investigating the misappropriations of an elected officials signature, lying on an ethics complaint, and campaign finance violations.
The move to call themselves into a special session is the first time the General Assembly has ever exercised that power and they did so for the sole reason to position disciplinary actions against Greitens as the committee continues its work.
A second resolution has been filed in the House. HR 2, sponsored by Reps. Jay Barnes and Gina Mitten give the Special Investigative Committee on Oversight the authority to file articles of impeachment and sets forth rules moving forward. Both are members of said committee
“…hereby authorize the Special Investigative Committee on Oversight to recommend disciplinary actions including, but not limited to, remonstrance or censure or introduce upon report articles of impeachment,” HR 2 reads.
The resolution expands the seven-member committee to 10 members, and limits the number of members from a single political party to seven.
HR 2 also lays out the rules moving forward:
Any hearings time and location will be determined by the speaker.
Hearings will be open to public and press except, upon majority vote, the committee can close any portion or all to hear witness testimony, review evidence, or for meeting with counsel.
Governor’s counsel will be allowed to attend closed hearings involving witnesses.
Open hearings will be live-streamed.
A report will be issued at the end that includes transcript and evidence other than what is retracted
Only appointed members of the special committee may question witnesses.
Only those called by the special committee may testify as a witness. Those desiring to testify may petition to do so by filing a written statement of substance. The committee, with a majority vote, will have the discretion to allow such a person to testify.
All witnesses will testify under oath, administered by the chair.
Formal rules of evidence shall not apply to the hearings.
The committee may compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents, enforce obedience of orders, preserve order, and punish in a summary way contempt of and disobedience of its authority.
Subpoenas will be issued by the Speaker of the House, upon request of the committee.
Subpoenas may be enforced by statutory or common law, or by applying to a Cole County Circuit Court judge to show cause why the subpoena should not be enforced.
The Chair will preside over hearings and rule on all questions regarding decorum and procedure.
Majority vote of the committee will determine admission or rejection of testimony.
Each witness has the right to counsel and the right to be accompanied by such counsel.
No witness, or their counsel, will be admitted to the room a hearing is being conducted until that person is called to testify.
Read the resolution below:
Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at firstname.lastname@example.org.