Update: Monday afternoon, Governor Bentley resigned. The so-called Luv Gov was also booked into county jail on campaign finance charges, a misdemeanor. His plea deal required him to resign.
The Alabama governor who sanctimoniously refused to vote for Donald Trump because of the Billy Bush tape is facing impeachment for using taxpayer monies to hide his illicit affair with a top aide.
While he was said to be covering up the affair, Bentley was quick to withdraw his endorsement of Donald Trump when the going got a little rocky after the release of the secret Billy Bush tapes. The tape spurred marches of women wearing hats representing a woman’s anatomy.
Bentley’s press secretary Yasamie August emailed the governor’s statement at the time:
“I endorsed Governor John Kasich for President, because I felt like he was the most qualified and the best person to lead our nation. I certainly won’t vote for Hillary Clinton, but I cannot and will not vote for Donald Trump.”
Bentley wanted Trump to step aside:
“As disappointed as I’ve been with his antics throughout this campaign, I thought supporting the nominee was the best thing for our country and our party. Now, it is abundantly clear that the best thing for our country and our party is for Trump to step aside and allow a responsible, respectable Republican to lead the ticket.”
When Trump didn’t dissolve into the ether, Bentley tried to jump on the Trump train with tweets welcoming his visit and calling it an “honor”.
Bentley is what we hate about politicians.
Impeachment hearings have begun for the Alabama governor accused of misusing state resources to keep the alleged affair with a staffer from being exposed.
House Judiciary Chairman Mike Jones opened the hearings Monday by saying no task was more serious than the possible removal of an elected governor.
Jones said it was time to hear evidence collected by the committee’s special counsel. The governor’s lawyers will respond to those accusations later in the week.
Special Counsel Jack Sharman opened by saying that impeachment is the “people’s check” on political excess.
“Gov. 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 intended to protect his reputation,” Sharman wrote in a report released Friday.
Ray Lewis is a former state trooper who sued Bentley and his mistress Rebekah Caldwell Mason for allegedly destroying his career. He said he warned Bentley and Mason to end the affair and stop using state planes and cars to transport Mason. Lewis is saying his career and reputation were ruined over it.
“He would have done anything for the Governor, including taking a bullet. But when you are the head of the Governor’s security detail, you see a lot, hear a lot, know a lot. And there came a time when both Governor Bentley and Rebekah Mason wanted Ray Lewis gone,” John Saxon, a lawyer representing Lewis said in an emailed statement.
Mason and her husband made almost $1 million while she worked for Bentley.
Bentley used burner phones for texts, allegedly at taxpayer expense, when his wife and others became suspicious the two were having an affair.
Mason even wrote up a statement for Dianne Bentley in which she was supposed to defend the family against the “unsubstantiated” reports. Instead, Dianne Bentley divorced him.
Mason resigned as his chief foreign policy adviser the end of March.