Alabama Supreme Court allows impeachment of governor to proceed

He said it appears to be an "amalgam of hearsay, rumor and innuendo".

Gov. Robert Bentley speaks during the annual State of the State address at the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017 in Montgomery, Ala.

Sharman wrote that Bentley's relationship with Rebekah Caldwell Mason was well-known within his inner circle.

The report by Jack Sharman, special counsel to the House Judiciary Committee, says Bentley "directed law enforcement to advance his personal interests and, in a process characterized by increasing obsession and paranoia, subjected career law enforcement officers to tasks meant to protect his reputation". Griffin made mention from the bench that he'd learned the report had been released. Afterward, both Bentley and Mason denied having a physical affair with each other.

A state court on Friday had rejected Bentley's request to block the Judiciary Committee from releasing evidence about wrongdoing stemming from his relationship with Mason, to be used for impeachment proceedings. The Alabama Ethics Commission on Wednesday found probable cause that Bentley broke ethics and campaign law and referred the matter for possible prosecution.

The report also included text messages Dianne Bentley gave the committee. According to their investigation, Mason wielded a tremendous amount of power over the governor and received "hundreds of thousands of dollars from Governor Bentley's campaign account and from an apparently lawful but shadowy non-profit". The report says her suspicions of an affair were confirmed when Bentley mistakenly sent his wife a text that read "I love you Rebekah" with a red-rose emoji.

Jack Sharman told Montgomery County Circuit Judge Roman Shaul on Friday that Bentley's request to block the report and hearings is unconstitutional. He stood on the marble steps of the state Capitol on Friday and somberly acknowledged making personal mistakes but maintained he did nothing to merit his removal from office.

Sharman says the court doesn't have a right to interfere with the hearing process at this point. The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to begin impeachment hearings Monday. Robert Bentley (R) to resign over a sex scandal, CNN reported.

The report was released Friday afternoon. The report is supposed to be released Friday and the committee is scheduled to begin impeachment hearings Monday.

"We appreciate the Court's consideration of this serious case and are gratified by the result", the governor's attorney, Ross Garber, told CNN.

Online court records show the governor's office filed the lawsuit moments before he spoke against the House Judiciary Committee on Friday morning. Bentley's legal adviser David Byrne has said the rapidly moving process hasn't given the governor time to respond.

The 74-year-old governor hastily called a news conference in which he told constituents he knew he had let them down.

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