Impeachment speculation heats up in Montgomery

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The Alabama Legislature is back in session and so is speculation about Gov. Robert Bentley’s future.

Two Cullman-area legislators Corey Harbison and Randall Shedd circulated a draft impeachment proposal Tuesday that faults Bentley for using campaign funds to pay former top aide and alleged mistress Rebekah Mason’s legal bills.

It also says the governor should not have set a special election date for June 2018 for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by now-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Last week, Bentley appointed Luther Strange, who’d been the state’s attorney general, to fill the Senate vacancy.

Bentley also named Steve Marshall, the former Marshall County district attorney, to succeed Strange.

But Strange’s new job only helped fuel the impeachment debate, since Strange had waded into the impeachment investigation last year. In November, he asked House Judiciary Committee Chairman Mike Jones to suspend the House investigation, while his office reviewed related matters.

Jones agreed, but Strange left for Washington without reporting on his office’s findings.

It looked like answers might emerge Tuesday, after Marshall said at his first press conference he’d check with the AG’s office public integrity unit and find out if Bentley was under investigation.

If they are investigating Bentley, Marshall said, he’d recuse himself from a role in that investigation – given how he’d gotten his new job.

Marshall also said he’d meet with Jones Tuesday and spell out if he needed to recuse himself and update him and what his office has done.

The two men did meet today, but both sides declined to say what they discussed.

The AG’s office also declined to say if Bentley was under investigation.

A spokesman for the judiciary committee said Tuesday there are no set plans, at this point, to resume impeachment hearings.