Speaker Becky Lockhart has once again sent out a mass email to legislators with instructions on how to impeach John Swallow.
As with her previous email, in last night’s email the Speaker is being very careful not to advocate for or against impeachment of the scandal-laden Republican Attorney General. But with recent developments, it’s looking more and more likely that the House may act soon.
Impeachment is a rare and serious undertaking. It’s so rare that in my research so far, I cannot find one instance when Utah’s House of Representatives has approved Articles of Impeachment for a public or elected official in the entire history of the state. It has, however, happened in other states and at the Federal level, so some information exists to help give us context. In fact, Utah’s Constitutional language closely mirrors the Federal language.
Attached to this e-mail you’ll find documents that describe impeachment processes and explain the reasons for and roles in that process, including:
• Comparison of Utah and U.S. Constitutional language
• Federalist 65/Alexander Hamilton
• Congressional Research Service/Impeachment Overview
• Congressional Research Service/Portions of a few documents with some interesting discussion of impeachment criteria in general. I can send the entire contents of these documents if any of you would like to read them in total. Please let me know.
• Copy of an internal memo prepared by an OLRGC law clerk in 2003 that discusses the interpretation of the “high crimes and misdemeanors” language of Utah’s Constituion.
As I’ve stated before, these e-mails are not to advocate for or against impeachment. But I would be derelict in my duty as Speaker of the House to not provide all the information necessary for the members to consider their roles and responsibilities under the Utah Constitution. I invite you to read and consider the information. Speak with your constituents. And engage your fellow representatives about the issues before us.
As always, my door is open and my phone is on.
Speaker Becky Lockhart
The following are the attachments sent with Speaker Lockhart’s email to legislators:
“High Crimes and Misdemeanors” memo from Legislative Counsel.
“Federalist No. 65” on impeachment, as written by Alexander Hamilton.
Congressional Research Service – Various discussions on impeachment.
Comparison of impeachment language between the US and Utah constitutions.