UPDATED 10:03 P.M. FEB. 03, 2021
FRANKFORT, Ky (WTVQ) – Lawmakers are still deciding if Governor Andy Beshear will keep his job after a petition was filed against him.
According to this petition, Beshear is believed to have violated the state constitution while trying to curb the spread of the Coronavirus.
In accordance to state law, the impeachment committee cannot ignore a petition made about the Governor.
Originally four people submitted this petition, saying that Governor Beshear violated the state constitution.
This came after he shut down businesses and limited activities during the start of the pandemic.
Last week the impeachment committee said that one of the petitioners, Mr. Randall Daniel wanted to withdraw.
It’s been one week later and his name is still on the petition.
“We received a letter from Mr. Daniels council. It was directed towards us and we received a separate one that was directed to the Governors council. I anticipated that we would receive a motion to withdraw by today. At this time, we don’t have one so therefore Mr. Daniels remains on the case until he submits a motion to withdraw,” says representative Jason Nemes, the head of the Impeachment Committee.
After four hours of a closed discussion among the committee members, a decision had still not been reached.
Questions were not permitted by the committee members following the closing of their executive session.
ABC 36 will continue to bring you new details about this petition as we learn new information.
UPDATED 6 P.M. JAN. 27, 2021
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – A committee of four Republicans and three Democrats met behind closed doors for almost three hours Wednesday before deciding to send Gov. Andy Beshear a letter seeking more information concerning a petition urging his impeachment.
The governor has until Monday to respond, according to the committee’s discussion once the group came back into open session.
The members of the Impeachment Committee gave little indication of what kind of information it wanted that wasn’t included in the governor’s 250-plus page response he filed Friday.
And one of the four petitioners — Randall Daniel — dropped (Letter to Gov Office, Re Randall Daniel) (Letter to Rep. Nemes – Re Randall Daniel) his efforts while the remaining three filed an acerbic response (Impeachment Petition Response 1.22.20 FINAL with exhibits) to the governor’s response.
The committee members are Republican Jason Nemes, who serves as chairman, Democrat George Brown Jr., Democrat Angie Hatton, Republican Kim King, Republican C. Ed Massey, Republican Suzanne Miles, and Democrat Patti Minter.
UPDATE POSTED 5 P.M. JAN. 26, 2021
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Gov. Andy Beshear calls the impeachment petition against him a “vendetta that has no support in the law or reality.”
The governor released his 245-page response (read it here Impeachment Petition Response 1.22.20 FINAL with exhibits ) to the impeachment petition to WTVQ ABC 36 NewsTuesday in response to a freedom of information request.
Some 45 pages of the response addresses the issue raised by four petitioners earlier this month. The rest includes a Supreme Court ruling backing Beshear and negating many of the issues raised by the petition, legislative records and other court rulings.
The governor filed his response Jan. 22 and the four petitioners have until tonight to respond.
The six-member impeachment committee meets Wednesday to begin its review. That committee also is handling a petition ti impeach Republican state Rep. Robert Goforth who was indicted in September on felony domestic violence charges but still won more than 70 percent of the vote in his re-election in November.
The House Committee on Committees will decide when it meets in early February whether to send a third impeachment petition, this one against Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron, to the same committee or name a new one. That petition was filed after the General Assembly broke until Feb. 2.
In the governor’s response, his lawyers urge the committee to dismisses the petition, saying almost all the issues already have been addressed by the courts and others. He says a new claim that he changed election laws without authority also is unfounded since the Legislature authorized he and Republican Secretary of state Michael Adams to make changes and not one complaint or issue was raised before either last year’s primaries or general elections.
ORIGINAL STORY POSTED JAN. 12, 2021
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) — Republican House leaders in Kentucky appointed a committee Monday to consider a petition calling for the Democratic governor’s impeachment for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The panel’s membership was announced without comment by lawmakers at the end of the chamber’s daily session. It’s in response to a petition submitted recently by four Kentuckians. House Speaker David Osborne said he doesn’t have a choice but to proceed after receiving the petition, adding he was following a procedure set out in law.
Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday there’s “zero grounds” for his removal, declaring it would invalidate his 2019 election. He pointed to a state Supreme Court ruling that said he had the authority to put restrictions on businesses and individuals to try to contain the virus’s spread.
“We don’t need it, shouldn’t go anywhere and don’t anticipate it will go anywhere,” Beshear said at a news conference. “I think that’s one where everybody will rise above and put our democracy here in the state above four individuals who are upset.”
The petition claims the governor violated the state and U.S. constitutions with a series of restrictions he ordered to combat the coronavirus.
Speaking with reporters, Osborne declined to answer when asked whether he thought the governor should be impeached. The speaker said it’s important to wait to see the committee’s eventual report.
“I think it would be inappropriate for anybody to comment prior to hearing the facts that are presented,” the speaker said. “If they present findings that they believe need to be discussed, then we’ll hear those at the time.”
Some GOP-led states with more lax responses have been hit much harder by the coronavirus, resulting in much higher death tolls, a contrast Beshear has noted in defending the steps he has taken.
Republican lawmakers in Kentucky moved quickly in the opening week of this year’s session to scale back the governor’s powers. They gave final passage on Saturday to bills limiting the governor’s emergency authority to imposeCOVID-19 restrictions. The GOP has enough House and Senate members to override any gubernatorial vetoes.