Missouri AG Hawley — Claire McCaskill's likely challenger — calls on GOP Gov. Greitens to resign after explosive sex report

Key Points
  • Missouri Attorney General and Senate candidate Josh Hawley calls on fellow Republican Gov. Eric Greitens to resign.
  • He calls a new report detailing allegations of nonconsensual sex acts "impeachable."
  • Hawley aims to distance himself from Greitens as he tries to unseat Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill this year.
Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley.
John Sleezer | Kansas City Star | TNS | Getty Images

Republican Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley — the expected challenger to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in one of the year's critical midterm races — is among the state officials who called on Missouri's GOP governor to resign amid mounting accusations of sexual misconduct.

In a statement, Hawley went as far as calling explosive allegations against Gov. Eric Greitens detailed in a new report "impeachable."

"The conduct the Report details is certainly impeachable, in my judgment, and the House is well within its rights to proceed on that front," Hawley said. "But the people of Missouri should not be put through that ordeal. Governor Greitens should resign immediately."

On Wednesday, a state House committee released the report, which came about from an investigation into an extramarital affair Greitens admits to having in 2015, before he ran for governor. A woman, who was the governor's hairdresser, says Greitens struck her and performed sexual acts without her consent.

Greitens called the accusations a "political witch hunt" and said the relationship was consensual. He signaled he has no plans to resign.

McCaskill and other Missouri officials have already called for Greitens to resign. But Hawley's staunch criticism is significant because McCaskill's campaign has attacked him for being too close to the governor.

Hawley appears to aim to distance himself from Greitens as he runs in one of 2018's most important races. The misconduct accusations against the governor threaten to be a drag on Hawley, Missouri's top law enforcement official.

Unseating McCaskill, the second-term senator whose state Trump won in 2016, is important for Republicans if they want to keep or expand their 51-seat majority in the Senate.