Missouri House panel investigating Gov. Greitens set to meet

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A Missouri House committee tasked with investigating Gov. Eric Greitens is set to meet for the first time.

The special panel is scheduled to convene Tuesday for an organizational meeting.

The bipartisan panel was formed by GOP House Speaker Todd Richardson in response to the Republican governor's indictment on a felony invasion-of-privacy charge stemming from an extramarital affair in 2015 when he allegedly took a compromising photo of the woman he had the affair with. He is not charged with blackmail.

Special Investigative Committee on Oversight

The panel includes Rep. Jay Barnes (R), Rep. Don Phillips (R), Rep. Kevin Austin (R), Rep. Jeanie Lauer (R), Rep. Gina Mitten (D), Rep. Tommie Pierson (D) and Rep. Shawn Rhoads (R).

The House panel will be able to use subpoenas issued by Richardson to compel testimony from witnesses. Some of that testimony could be closed to the public to protect the identity of certain witnesses.

The committee has 40 days to issue a report, although that could be extended.

Depending on the results, the committee's findings could be used to initiate impeachment proceedings against the governor.

There is also a hearing at 2 p.m. to determine whether Mo., media companies will receive advance notice of pretrial court hearings.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a motion filed Thursday, March 1 said,  “proceedings in this case have not been readily accessible to the public or to the news media, who act as the public’s eyes and ears to legal proceedings.”