By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday, March 30, Articles of Impeachment are being drawn up by State Representative Ed Henry (R-Hartselle) against Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R).
Representative Henry told reporters that he started drafting the articles on Monday. Henry plans on filing them once the House reconvenes next week.
The Alabama Political Reporter spoke with State Senator Jim McClendon (R-Springville) and he urged caution. McClendon said that none of the investigations are complete yet and we don’t yet have all the evidence. What if the House or the Senate voted not to impeach Governor Bentley and then evidence came forward showing that something truly criminal happened. Then the legislature would have to impeach the Governor again. If you impeached Governor Bentley for too loose a reason that also would be setting a precedent for future legislatures. What are they going to impeach him on? The most serious allegation is that he used the national NCIC computer system against Roger Shuler. What is the evidence for that? We need to see what evidence there is before rushing impeachment through the legislature. McClendon could not recall an Alabama Governor being removed by impeachment. “Everything we do here is precedent setting.”
McClendon said that House would have to vote to impeach the Governor. The Senate would have to see what the House sent to them and then weigh guilt or innocence. McClendon said that the Senator would be the jury and Chief Justice Roy Moore would preside over the trial.
Rep. Henry told reporters that the articles will be brought on incompetence, ineffective leadership, and moral turpitude regarding an alleged affair between the governor and a top staffer, Rebekah Mason.
Henry said, “If we are going to do anything for the next two years as far as economic development, we will have to do it without Governor Bentley….From the beginning of his second term he has done nothing but lie and deceive the people of Alabama… We are seeing the fruits of that.”
State Representative Jack Williams (R-Vestavia) said, “I will probably start a firestorm with this statement – but I have to mention something I find really odd. I, like most everyone else in the state am very disappointed and saddened by what we have heard regarding the Governor the past week. I do find it odd that some of his harshest critics, especially those who are pointing a finger regarding the Governor’s moral failure, are avid Trump supporters.”
Rep. Williams said, “It just appears they have a different moral standard for being Governor and being President. I’m afraid both have made wrong decisions, so I don’t understand wanting to run one off and elect the other. It is, however, our inconsistencies that give us our own unique personalities.”
State Representative Kerry Rich (R-Albertville) said, “On the subject of Governor Robert Bentley’s problems, I have been hesitant to say anything, because we don’t know enough of the facts. Here are my thoughts as it stands. I have supported the Governor on issues and have not supported him on others. We have had a cordial but not great relationship. The Governor has admitted to an inappropriate relationship with an aide. That alone, in my view, does not require his resignation or impeachment. We have ALL sinned and have come short of God’s glory. If he is telling the truth and there is nothing else involved either illegal or unethical and shows proper remorse and demonstrates he can continue, he should be allowed to.”
Rep. Rich said, “There are other allegations and the possibility he is not telling the truth. That we do not know. The Attorney General and the Federal Prosecutor will conduct an investigation to determine the facts. In my view we should let the dust settle and see what the facts are. After we have the facts I will know what position to take and what action is required. We should all ask for guidance from God on what course that should be taken.”
Gov. Bentley has reportedly retained high powered Montgomery Attorney Joe Espy to represent him.
While Bentley is still refusing to resign, his alleged mistress, Mrs. Rebekah Caldwell Mason, has announced her resignation. Mrs. Mason said in a statement, “I have resigned as Senior Political Advisor to Governor Bentley and will no longer be paid from his campaign fund. I have also ended my work with the Alabama Council For Excellent Government. My only plans are to focus my full attention on my precious children and my husband who I love dearly. They are the most important people in my life. Thank you for your prayers for our family.”
Original reporting by television station WAFF contributed to this report.