By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Tuesday, April 5, an impeachment resolution was announced in a press conference in Montgomery. State Representative Ed Henry (R-Hartselle) announced that it was his intent to enter an impeachment resolution against the Governor and have it voted on by the House of Representatives within a week. Alabama Governor Robert Bentley on Tuesday released a statement in response to the threat of impeachment.
Gov. Bentley said, “For five years, I have faithfully served the people of Alabama. We have made great progress streamlining the way state government operates and have saved taxpayers more than $1 Billion annually.”
A defiant Bentley said, “There are no grounds for impeachment, and I will vigorously defend myself and my administration from this political attack. Today’s press conference is nothing more than political grandstanding intended to grab headlines and take the focus away from the important issues the Legislature still has to address before the end of the session.”
Gov. Bentley said, “There is a lot of work to do before I end my term in office in 2019. I have laid out a strategic plan for success, and I will continue to focus my efforts on making Alabama a great state. That is what the people of Alabama overwhelmingly elected and re-elected me to do. I will continue to work hard for them every day.”
The last time the legislature even attempted to remove anyone via impeachment was 1915 when they attempted to remove the Secretary of State. That resolution did not pass the House. Only 15 Governors have been removed by impeachment in the history of the United States. Only two Presidents have been impeached (the last being President Bill Clinton (D)); though no President has ever been removed from office. President Richard Nixon (R) resigned before the US House of Representatives could vote on impeachment for his role in the Watergate break in and cover up.
Meanwhile Rep. Henry told reporters on Tuesday, “We’re looking at this governor who has essentially betrayed the trust of the people of Alabama, through actions and lies that have caused us to have some doubt about his leadership. And as such the only course the people of Alabama have to address this issue is through the impeachment process, so the process is going to start today.”
Gov. Bentley admits having an “inappropriate relationship” with top political aide Rebekah Caldwell Mason; but denies that he did anything illegal. The then First Lady Dianne Bentley recorded the now infamous telephone conversation in August of 2014. She demanded that the Governor end the relationship with Mrs. Mason. He refused. She filed for divorce a year later.
The House Rules Committee will meet at 9:00 am on Thursday. Rep. Henry’s impeachment resolution could come up then. The Rules Committee is expected to refer the matter to a special investigations committee that has not been appointed yet.