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Impeachment Committee Asks Beshear, AG Cameron For More Information

J. Tyler Franklin

The Republican committee reviewing impeachment petitions against Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear has dismissed two of the cases but is still asking the governor to respond to one of them.

The committee is also still reviewing petitions filed against Attorney General Daniel Cameron and state Rep. Robert Goforth, both Republicans.

Three grand jurors from the Breonna Taylor case filed a petition to impeach Cameron last month, alleging he misled the public about the case and misrepresented the grand jury’s actions.

Six of Goforth’s constituents called for him to be removed following his indictment for allegedly assaulting and threatening to kill his wife last year.

Republican Rep. Jason Nemes is the chair of the committee, which the state House of Representatives formed after receiving the initial citizen petition calling for Beshear to be removed because of his role responding to the coronavirus pandemic in Kentucky.

Nemes said the two claims were dismissed because “they were not sufficient on their face,” but he didn’t provide additional information.

“They didn’t meet the statutory requirements, so they were dismissed summarily without further steps being taken,” Nemes said.

The committee has met in closed session since its inception last month.

Deliberations have been private, and the only public information about proceedings comes from correspondence intermittently posted on the committee’s website and sparse updates provided by Nemes after the meetings.

In a letter sent to Beshear’s office on Friday, Nemes indicated that he was unhappy with the governor’s refusal to provide information related to lockdown orders early on in the pandemic.

“This committee does not seek another document that denies the allegations and directs the committee on what it can or cannot do,” Nemes wrote.

Beshear’s attorney sent a letter to Nemes earlier in the week denying the request and questioning the committee’s handling of the impeachment petitions.

On Friday, Nemes also asked Attorney General Cameron’soffice to provide any unpublished audio or transcripts of instructions given to the grand jury during the Taylor case.

Cameron released 15 hours of audio from the grand jury proceedings in October, though much of it was inaudible.

The committee has provided little update on the petition against Rep. Goforth. 

Nemes only said “we discussed Rep. Goforth’s, as we will discuss all the petitions.”

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives for Kentucky Public Radio, a group of public radio stations including WKMS, WFPL in Louisville, WEKU in Richmond and WKYU in Bowling Green. A native of Lexington, Ryland most recently served as the Capitol Reporter for Kentucky Public Radio. He has covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin.
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