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Committee Will Discuss Beshear, Goforth Impeachment Petitions


The Kentucky legislative committee reviewing impeachment petitions against Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear and Republican State Rep. Robert Goforth will meet this afternoon.

The committee will also eventually review a petition filed by grand jurors from the Breonna Taylor case against Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron.

Though, since the legislature is in the middle of a three-week break, the petition against Cameron won’t be officially filed until lawmakers return on Feb. 2.

Citizen impeachment petitions usually aren’t publicized and, in the past, the state House of Representatives has dismissed them after a quick review by the House Judiciary Committee.

But this year, Republican leaders of the House of Representatives took the unusual step of forming a special committee toreview a petition that alleged Beshear should be removed from office for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this month, House Speaker David Osborne said the legislature was legally required to review the petitions, and that Republican leadership formed the special committee to avoid interfering “with the normal conducting of business.”

“We’re trying everything we can to keep it from being any more of a distraction than possible,” Osborne said.

The handling of the Beshear petition opened the door for citizens to seek the impeachments of other officials and also have them publicly reviewed by the committee.

Eight citizens filed a petitionagainst Republican Rep. Robert Goforth, who was indicted last year for allegedly hogtying his wife with an ethernet cord and threatening to kill her.

Then three unnamed grand jurors from the Breonna Taylor case filed a petition againstAttorney General Daniel Cameron, arguing that he misled the public about what he presented to the grand jury.

Petitioners seeking to remove Cameron and Goforth have filed a motion to remove the impeachment committee’s chair, Louisville Republican Rep. Jason Nemes.

The petitioners cite Nemes’ relationships with Cameron and Goforth, public statements opposing Beshear’s handling of the pandemic and Facebook “friend” status with three of the petitioners seeking Beshear’s removal.

Beshearresponded to the petition last week, calling it a “last-ditch effort to upend our constitutional separation of powers.”

The impeachment committee will meet Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET.

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives. He's covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Texas. He grew up in Lexington.

Email Ryland at
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