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Are Criminal Charges Required for Impeachment? - KOAM TV 7

Are Criminal Charges Required for Impeachment?

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Joplin, MO -

The Saint Louis County Attorney has dropped charges against Missouri's Governor alleging he took and illegally transmitted photos of a woman with whom he was having an affair in 2015.

Despite the dismissal of felony invasion of privacy charges, state lawmakers say they're carrying on with their own investigation into Governor Greitens and his actions.  That investigation is expected to be key in a discussion about whether to impeach the governor, that takes place later this week.

Lawmakers will convene to end their regular session on May 18th, that same day they will gavel back in to special session.  "They're going to meet to discuss if there is enough evidence from the hearings that they're holding to file the articles of impeachment." says Nicholas Nicoletti, a Political Science instructor at Missouri Southern.

Members of the House will use criteria laid out in Missouri law to determine whether to impeach the Governor. Impeachment does not require a criminal conviction, immoral behavior in office could be enough, but Nicoletti tells us that lawmakers could expand that criteria.  "There's actually debate happening right now if the immoral behavior had to happen in office or if it could happen out of office. I think the consensus will be it could occur at anytime." 

If 89 members of the House vote to file articles of impeachment, it would then go to the Senate where 7 judges would be selected to go over evidence provided by the House investigative committee. If 5 of the 7 judges vote to impeach, the Governor would be removed from office and Lt. Gov. Mike Parson would take over. 

Missouri Lawmakers are currently working on legislation that would, under these circumstances, allow a Governor to select his Lieutenant Governor pending Senate confirmation. 

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