On the morning of Monday August 24, members of the Ohio House of Representatives released the draft of their articles of impeachment exhibiting charges levied against Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R).
Representatives supporting the filing are John Becker (R-Union Township, Clermont County), Nino Vitale (R-Urbana), Candice Keller (R-Middletown), and Paul Zeltwanger (R-Mason).
The filing will be followed by impeachment proceedings in the House during which representatives will hear testimony regarding the alleged offenses. The House would need a simple majority vote to impeach Governor DeWine to move the matter on to a trial in the Ohio Senate.
Article 2, Section 24 of the Ohio Constitution outlines who is liable to impeachment, and punishment:
The governor, judges, and all state officers, may be impeached for any misdemeanor in office; but judgment shall not extend further than removal from office, and disqualification to hold any office under the authority of this state. The party impeached, whether convicted or not, shall be liable to indictment, trial, and judgment, according to law.
Impeachment of an elected official is comparable to an indictment in criminal law – it is the statement of charges against the official, not a guilty verdict.
Representative Becker said in a statement:
Governor DeWine has violated the Ohio and United States Constitutions, as well as multiple sections of the Ohio Revised Code. Among his abuses of power, he meddled in the conduct of a presidential primary election and arbitrarily closed certain businesses, while allowing other businesses to remain open. He later instituted a statewide mask mandate, implementing that requirement as a condition of employment, making Ohio a hostile work environment. The mandate also extended to congregants at places of worship, forcing citizens to choose between worshipping their God and worshipping at the altar of unbridled government. Many Ohioans find the mask mandate offensive, degrading, humiliating, and insulting. There is also evidence that masks can be hazardous to one’s health. Gov. DeWine doubled down when he expanded the mandate to our school-age children, who are less susceptible to COVID-19.
Representative Becker – the champion of the impeachment effort – continued “[T]he public can easily find and contact their State Representative at ImpeachDeWine.com. The contact form contains sample language for constituents to send to their respective State Representatives to ask them to sign onto the legislation as co-sponsors.”
The website is here: https://impeachdewine.webs.com.
Both the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate contain a majority of Republicans, which makes articles of impeachment against a Republican governor uncommon – impeachment in the house and a conviction in the Senate would be even more rare.
In an interview with The Ohio Star, Representative Nino Vitale echoed his comments from his morning Facebook announcement “articles of impeachment do not go far enough for me. While it’s a good step, Dictator DeWine needs to be charged and tried for crimes against humanity, in my opinion.”
House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) was contacted by The Star but her reaction had not been received at the time this article published.
The Star reached out to Governor DeWine for comment – his Press Secretary Dan Tierney said “Governor DeWine is focused on saving lives during the pandemic. He is focused on helping the economy and getting Ohioans back to work. That is what he is focused on. Not this.”
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