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Missouri legislators to weigh impeachment of scandal-plagued Governor Eric Greitens

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Missouri legislators are set to convene on Friday to weigh the possible impeachment of Governor Eric Greitens, who has been embroiled in separate sex and fundraising scandals that have led to mounting pressure for his resignation.

The Republican-controlled Missouri General Assembly is scheduled to begin a special session in Jefferson City, Missouri, to consider what disciplinary steps to take against the first-term Republican governor, including impeachment, after hearing the recommendations of a special House investigative panel.

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Greitens has vowed to remain in office while he fights to clear his name. No Missouri governor has ever been impeached.

Greitens, a 44-year-old former Navy SEAL commando once seen as a rising star in the Republican Party, was previously charged with felony invasion of privacy in connection with an admitted extramarital affair in 2015 with a hairdresser before he was elected. He has said he is innocent, the relationship was consensual and he was the subject of a political witch hunt.

 On Monday, however, St. Louis prosecutors dropped the charge before his trial got under way after a state judge agreed to allow the defense to call as a witness St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, a Democrat whom defense attorneys accused of misconduct. Prosecutors have said they will refile the case.
Greitens was accused of taking a photo of his lover in a state of undress without her consent and making it accessible by computer to use as retaliation should she divulge their relationship. He has denied threatening to blackmail her and his attorneys have noted the alleged photograph has never been produced.

Meanwhile, the governor faces a separate trial on an unrelated charge of computer tampering as prosecutors allege he obtained and transmitted a donor list from a military veterans charity he founded in 2007 without the charity’s consent to aid his political fundraising.

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Greitens’ attorney has called the charge “absurd” and said his client is innocent.

State officials expect the special House investigative committee, formed in February to examine misconduct allegations against Greitens, to complete its work and present a final report to the Assembly during the special session, which begins at 6:30 p.m. local time (2330 GMT) Friday and could last 30 days. The House and Senate are expected to complete their action on the panel’s findings in that time frame.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, among others, has said that findings presented in the House committee’s initial report on April 11, detailing allegations of sexual coercion and physical abuse by Greitens, were grounds for impeachment.

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 The Missouri state constitution counts “moral turpitude,” among other things, as impeachable conduct.
Reporting by Ben Klayman; Editing by Bill Rigby


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Pennsylvania county socked with big special election bill after GOP lawmaker busted for child porn

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Lebanon County, Pennsylvania will need to spend tens of thousands of dollars to hold a special election following the resignation of a Republican state legislator.

On Tuesday, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced he had arrested state Sen. Michael Folmer for possession of child pornography. Folmer had allegedly uploaded a child pornography image to Tumblr.

“This defendant serves as a state Senator and was entrusted to honor and represent his community in the Pennsylvania Capitol,” Shapiro said in a statement. "Tonight, our Office arrested Mr. Folmer for possession of child pornography and charged him with Sexual Abuse of Children, Possession of Child Pornography, and Criminal Use of a Communication Facility. I will continue to say it—no one is above the law, no matter what position of power they hold."

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It’s ‘Clinton Cash’ all over again as the media blow the Trump whistleblower story

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

We would praise the reporters who revealed the content of a whistle-blower’s complaint that the Trump regime has refused to turn over to Congress as the law requires. But it appears that the outlines of the story were already known in DC political circles. Two weeks before the whistleblower story broke, The Washington Post ran an editorial noting that Donald Trump was withholding $250 million in military aid to Ukraine, and that while “some suspect Mr. Trump is once again catering to Mr. Putin, who is dedicated to undermining Ukrainian democracy and independence,… the president has a second and more venal agenda: He is attempting to force [Ukrainian president Volodymyr] Zelensky to intervene in the 2020 U.S. presidential election by launching an investigation of the leading Democratic candidate, Joe Biden." The authors added, "Mr. Trump is not just soliciting Ukraine’s help with his presidential campaign; he is using U.S. military aid the country desperately needs in an attempt to extort it.”

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Dems in Congress can publicly punish Trump — and Mitch McConnell would be powerless to stop them

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The revelation that President Donald Trump repeatedly demanded Ukraine officials work with his personal lawyer to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden has led to a fresh wave of calls for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to support an expedited impeachment effort — something that she is still resistant to doing.

But as Washington Post columnist Karen Tumulty noted in a new op-ed, there is another method Democrats can use to punish Trump on the House floor — and unlike impeachment, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) would have no say over it whatsoever: a formal censure.

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