Kentucky Impeachment Process

Following Mitch’s Money. Presentation by Doug Price on Jan. 25th, 2021

Tonight’s segment will be Part One of a series related to the recent Kentucky Impeachment actions. The facts in this segment are true and researched. Opinions shared in this segment are my own.

The first segment discusses the 3 filed petitions and provides background information about the KY Impeachment processes.

Seems like filing for an impeachment is in vogue but will probably not be in vogue much longer. Why? Because the loser in the effort will have to pay all costs associated with the action, including Legislator time. I reached out to my Legislators seeking clarification on how this cost is determined, but did not hear back. I am guessing a formula taking into consideration what they receive daily when the Legislature is in session.

The first was filed by 4 named Petitioners against Governor Andy Beshear and supported by affidavits of another 46 people. Each of the 50 stated (for the most part) they either own a business, work in a business, were out of work due to COVID-19 restrictions mandated by the Governor or were retired. Signers were mostly from Eastern and Central KY, 24 cities total. My hometown of Cynthiana had 2 people to sign affidavits.

The 2nd Impeachment was filed by 10 Petitioners to impeach State Representative Robert Goforth. You may remember that he ran against former Governor Bevin in the 2019 Republican Gubernatorial primary. Rep Goforth won his Legislator re-election campaign with 71% of the vote despite having been implicated, charged in a domestic violence incident involving his spouse. More intrigue recently when his wife came forth, denied that he had hurt her, they had made up, and wanted to drop the charges. Authorities refused to drop the charges. Then, last week authorities stated they had “lost” a key piece of evidence in the case. Funny how those things happen.

The 3rd Impeachment was filed by 3 unnamed Petitioners to remove KY Attorney General, Daniel Cameron, from office. These 3 were on the Grand Jury related to Breonna Taylor’s death and believe that AG Cameron did not provide the Jurors with all the information in the case.

I have not reviewed the later two Impeachment filings.

The ability of someone to file an Impeachment is mentioned in the KY Constitution, but does not spell out exactly how the process works. Legislators created law to set forth the procedures. The law is spelled out in KRS Chapter 63.

The Beshear Impeachment Petition makes several claims, revolving around Beshear limiting personal freedoms related to Covid-19 and executive actions implemented during the pandemic without the approval of the Legislature.

Essentially for performing duties expected of the Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth.

The law requires a Committee to be formed and Republican Representative, Jason Nemes, was selected as the Chair along with 3 other Republican and 3 Democratic Legislators.

The Committee had its first meeting on January 13, 2021. I understand the Committee Chair did not provide much notice about the meeting and closed a portion of the meeting. There was concern expressed about potential violations of the Kentucky Open Meetings Act. I tried to obtain a copy of the meeting minutes which should be posted on the LRC website. An email to Chairman Nemes and my Legislators went unanswered.

Interestingly on Nemes Facebook page one of his friends said that he had heard Nemes would Chair the Committee. Nemes replied No.

The next day he was appointed to chair the committee.

“The committee was formed because it is legally required to be formed. No one should get excited nor upset that the committee has been formed.

We’re going to follow not just the rules, not just the due process, but there will be no unfairness here,” said Nemes.

The Committee reached out to Governor Beshear and asked him to respond in writing by January 22, or noted that he could appear before the Committee. The Committee also reached out to the Petitioners and asked them to respond by January 26.

Governor Beshear’s 241 page response was delivered to the Committee and the public on January 22,2021.

The Impeachment Committee will meet on January 27 at 3 pm in Room 125 of the Capitol Annex. I expect this meeting will be televised by KET.

One would expect a ruling quickly after reviewing all the replies.

If the Committee approves the Impeachment, then the House votes to either go forward or not. If the matter goes forward, then the Senate will hold a trial. In my opinion, this Impeachment Petition will not be voted out of the committee and will end there.

In essence, everything alleged in the Petition has already been litigated in the Courts.

I expect this Petition to be denied.

I will review the other Petitions and update the current one in the coming weeks.

Doug Price is a member/treasurer of the MMRC and a regular participant on the #MoscowMitchMonday live stream, discussing Mitch and Money. Doug is an advocate of governmental change on the State/Federal level and has periodically worked on Democratic campaigns dating back to the 80s. Follow Doug on Twitter @ PriceDoug

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Progress Kentucky

Progress Kentucky

Progress Kentucky works to educate and engage voters across our commonwealth in order to advance a progressive political agenda at the state and national level.