Senator Mike Cierpiot Outlines the Missouri Impeachment Process
As many of you may know, our governor has been under investigation for allegedly taking a nonconsensual photograph of a woman with whom he engaged in an extramarital affair, prior to being elected governor.
As a result, the governor is facing a felony invasion of privacy charge. For this reason, the Missouri House of Representatives created the Special Investigative Committee on Oversight to take a deeper look into the allegations. Over a 40 day period, the committee gathered testimony from several witnesses they deemed credible, including the woman the governor was involved with.
This week, the committee released a report outlining their findings based on testimony from those witnesses who were able to offer insight on the allegations against the governor. After reviewing the documents, I am appalled with the findings. If the Missouri House finds good reason to take further action, articles of impeachment could be drafted.
The Missouri impeachment process is very involved and deliberate. Below is an outline of Article VII, Sect. 2 of the Missouri Constitution explaining the state’s impeachment process:
- The first step calls for a member of the Missouri House to file a resolution calling for an investigation (Important to note, a member cannot call for impeachment. The call has to be for an investigation initially.)
- Then, the Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives would refer the resolution to a committee. It could be an existing committee or one created specifically for this task.
- Next, the committee investigates the allegations and, if good cause is found, would draft articles of impeachment to be reported to the House.
- Following this step, the Missouri House would then treat the articles as a bill. It would then follow the regular legislative process in the House.
- Adoption of any articles of impeachment would require a constitutional majority of 82 votes in the Missouri House.
- Upon adoption, the articles would then go to the Senate, which would select a special commission of seven judges to try the case. Votes from five of the seven judges are needed for the conviction of impeachment.
As you can see, Missouri’s constitution places the burden of merit on the House. The Senate chooses the judges that will decide on guilt or innocence. I hope this helps explain what may unfold in the coming weeks.
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact my office in Jefferson City at (573)751-1464. For information