(The Center Square) - A committee charged with reviewing a petition calling for Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s impeachment could meet for the first time as early as Wednesday, its chairman told The Center Square.
State Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville, said early Wednesday afternoon he intends for everything before the seven-member panel to be public. The first meeting would be organizational in nature and extend an invite to the Democratic governor to respond, “if he would like to.”
House Speaker David Osborne, R-Prospect, created the committee after receiving a petition last week that claims the governor violated both the state and U.S. constitutions and exceeded his authority by issuing numerous directives during the ongoing COVID pandemic.
One of the petitioners, Jacob Clark, posted on Facebook on Monday that Beshear has “silenced 138 elected voices,” referencing the members of the General Assembly’s chambers. In addition, he unlawfully borrowed $865 million from the federal government.
“If the violations of Beshear are not impeachable, I dread to see what actions would be necessary to cause our House leader to interpose for the people of Kentucky,” the Grayson County resident stated.
No governor in Kentucky’s history has ever been impeached.
Beshear during his daily COVID briefing on Tuesday lambasted the petition and mentioned those behind it have been behind efforts to intimidate him since the pandemic started.
“These are the people that are out there trying to undermine our democracy in any way that they can,” he told reporters.
Beshear is not the only governor who has faced such challenges. In late November, a group of Ohio Republicans filed impeachment articles against Gov. Mike DeWine, a fellow Republican. Michigan lawmakers filed a similar resolution against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as well.
Nemes would not guarantee the committee would hold hearings into the matter.
“I don't know,” he said. “We're going to let the governor respond in writing. We may or may not have the petitioners reply. I’m a lawyer. When I’m in court, someone files a motion, the other party will respond, and the person who filed the motion replies. The judge then decides whether or not to rule or have a hearing, and I assume that’s what our committee will do.”
Osborne told WLKY-TV he would let the committee determine the appropriate course of action. While House Minority Leader Joni Jenkins said she would keep an eye on its activity as well. (https://www.wlky.com/article/how-impeachment-works-2021/35193722)
"I really do think that there are much bigger things that the General Assembly needs to handle in the short session, and I would hope this would be sent to a committee and that they would not act upon it," the Shively Democrat told the Louisville station.
Besides Nemes, the committee consists of state Reps. George Brown Jr, D-Lexington; Angie Hatton, D-Whitesburg; Kim King, R-Harrodsburg; C. Ed Massey, R-Hebron; Suzanne Miles, R-Owensboro; and Patti Minter, D-Bowling Green.