Missouri lawmakers to convene special session to decide case against Gov. Eric Greitens on May 18
Missouri Republican Governor Eric Greitens, firing an AR-style carbine in a campaign ad.

The Missouri General Assembly will convene a special session on May 18 to consider impeachment or any other discipline that a special House panel may recommend against Governor Eric Greitens, legislative leaders announced on Thursday.

The unprecedented move by the Republican-controlled legislature against Greitens, a first-term Republican governor, comes as he faces felony charges of invasion of privacy and computer tampering in separate criminal cases brought against him in St. Louis.

The stage for the special session was set after a petition signed by at least three-fourths of the members of the state House of Representatives and the state Senate signed and presented to the Missouri secretary of state for certification, House Speaker Todd Richardson said.

Richardson said he expects the special House investigative committee formed to examine various allegations of wrongdoing against the governor to complete its work and present a final report to the legislature by May 18.

The special session planned for that day, and scheduled to last up to 30 days, will be convened “for the sole purpose of considering the findings and recommendations” of the House panel, “including, but not limited to, disciplinary actions” against the governor, Richardson said.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, among others, has said that preliminary findings presented in the House committee’s initial report on April 11 were grounds for impeachment.

Greitens, a former U.S. Navy Seal commando and onetime rising star in the Republican Party, has come under mounting pressure from Missouri politicians of both parties to resign since becoming embroiled in a sex scandal stemming from an admitted extramarital affair with a hairdresser.

He has since come under renewed fire for having used a list of major donors to his former military veterans’ charity to raise money when he was running for governor.

Greitens has called the allegations in both cases part of a smear campaign orchestrated by his political opponents. He denies any criminal wrongdoing and has vowed to remain in office while he fights to clear his name in court.

Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Sandra Maler