Beshear Impeachment Question Remains Open Despite Petition Dismissals

Feb 5, 2021

The Kentucky House committee tasked with handling multiple impeachment petitions against state leaders has dropped two of the three petitions against Gov. Andy Beshear, but a showdown looms over an outstanding request for internal documents.

Signs promoting the impeachment of Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear line the walkway and lawn of the State Capitol building in Frankfort, Ky., Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021.
Credit AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley

Two recently submitted Beshear impeachment petitions — one from a group calling itself Take Back Kentucky and another by Kentucky Liberty PAC — were waved away by the committee Friday. Chair Jason Nemes offered a brief explanation.

"They were not sufficient on their face," the Republican said. "They didn't meet the statutory requirements, so they were dismissed summarily without any further steps being taken."

But the original petition calling for the removal of Gov. Beshear remains under review, and WDRB reports the impeachment panel has asked the governor's office to produce a chain of communications leading up to his decisions to enact travel bans and enforce restrictions on in-person church services. The deadline to hand over the documents passed on Monday, and now lawmakers are threatening to subpoena the materials.

As of Friday afternoon, the governor's office had not yet responded to a request for comment. Beshear has called the impeachment proceedings "more than silly" and defended his pandemic response as fully within his authority.

"None of those actions are anywhere close to an impeachment standard in Kentucky," the Democrat told reporters.

The House committee has been asked to review petitions for impeachment against the governor, Attorney General Daniel Cameron, and state Rep. and former candidate for governor Robert Goforth.