Articles of Impeachment Drafted Against Gov. DeWine By Conservative Ohio Lawmakers for COVID Response

State Rep. John Becker (R-Union Township, Clermont County) has drafted 10 articles of impeachment against Gov. DeWine for abuses of power during the pandemic he says violate the Ohio and U.S. Constitutions

click to enlarge Gov. Mike DeWine - Photo: Official portrait
Photo: Official portrait
Gov. Mike DeWine

Conservative State Rep. John Becker (R-Union Township, Clermont County) has drafted 10 articles of impeachment against Republican Gov. Mike DeWine for actions that he says violated "the Ohio and United States Constitutions, as well as multiple sections of the Ohio Revised Code" in the governor's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The articles of impeachment are co-sponsored by State Reps. Paul Zeltwanger (R-Mason) and Nino Vitale (R-Urbana).

Becker told Ohio's Statehouse News Bureau that the move to impeach DeWine was launched today, "so he's not sure of the number of his colleagues who might support the move."

In a press release, Becker says:

"Among his abuses of power, (DeWine) 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."

Co-sponsor Vitale ratchets things up a notch, saying on his Facebook page, "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."

There is a website — impeachdewine.webs.com — with information about why the three reps want to impeach DeWine. It includes the articles of impeachment, which Ohio reps have or have not jumped on (so far, it's only Becker, Zeltwanger and Vitale) and how to contact your state representatives should you want them to support DeWine's impeachment. (It also has a nifty graphic featuring Gov. DeWine in a face mask behind Photoshopped prison bars, giving off some Hannibal Lecter vibes.)

You can click impeachdewine.webs.com to read all 10 articles of impeachment, but here's a sampling: 

  • Richard Michael DeWine has violated the separation of powers by directing, or allowing, the Ohio Department of Health to issue orders outside the scope of its authority for administering legislation, which is tantamount to creating new laws, a duty exclusively reserved to the General Assembly per Article II, Section 1 which states in part, "The legislative power of the state shall be vested in a general assembly consisting of a senate and house of representatives…".
  • Richard Michael DeWine violated his oath of office when he conspired with Secretary of State Frank LaRose to cancel the March 17, 2020, primary election in violation of section 3501.01 of the Revised Code.
  • Richard Michael DeWine has repeatedly proven his incompetence by providing wildly inaccurate forecasts and repeatedly misleading COVID-19 data; and...Richard Michael DeWine has committed misfeasance and malfeasance with his policy prescriptions, which have proven to be far worse than the virus itself.
  • Richard Michael DeWine's face covering mandate promotes fear, turns neighbors against neighbors, and contracts the economy by making people fearful to leave their homes, to the detriment of every Ohioan; and...Healthcare professionals have stated that, for the general population wearing face coverings, people are more likely to infect themselves with COVID-19 because they will touch their face more often to adjust the covering, and that face coverings retain moisture, bacteria, and other viruses, in addition to re-breathing carbon dioxide, making them potentially dangerous for the general public to wear.

According to the Ohio constitution, the House of Representatives has the sole power of impeachment but it requires a majority vote in the House and then a two-thirds majority vote in the Ohio Senate to convict and remove someone from office. 

DeWine's office responded to the drafted articles of impeachment in a statement saying, "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."

House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) also responded, saying, “Instead of working to rebuild the public’s trust or calling the House back from summer recess to address the very real public health and economic crises Ohio currently faces by focusing on protecting small businesses and slowing the spread of COVID-19, Republicans continue to fight one another over political power."

Here's Becker's full statement:

I kept holding out hope that we wouldn’t get to this place. For months and months, I’ve been hearing the cries of my constituents and of suffering people from every corner of Ohio. They keep screaming, “DO SOMETHING!” They are hurting. Their businesses are declining and depreciating. Their jobs have vanished. The communities that have sustained their lives are collapsing, and becoming shells of what they once were.

Living in fear, many have turned to drugs and yes, even suicide, to end or tolerate the unbearable pain inflicted by the governor upon their livelihoods, and the damage caused by his unraveling of the fabric of Ohio. It is long past time to put an end to government gone wild.

With deaths and hospitalizations from COVID-19 flattened, the Governor continues to press his boot on the throat of Ohio’s economy. Due to the unilateral actions of Governor DeWine, a growing number of businesses have failed and continue to fail. Millions of frustrated, exasperated, and suffering Ohioans are relying on the General Assembly to take control and end their government-driven affliction.

Gubernatorial recall elections are not permitted in Ohio and removal by complaint is too arduous and impractical for the citizenry to navigate as a process for taking back their government. The only other option is impeachment.

Articles of impeachment cannot be vetoed, and require a majority (50 votes) in the Ohio House of Representatives and then a two-thirds majority (22 votes) in the Ohio Senate for conviction and removal from office.

In addition to ImpeachDeWine.com, constituents can find and contact their state representatives at OhioHouse.gov. Only massive public demand for Governor DeWine’s resignation or impeachment can save what is left of Ohioans’ confidence in their public officials.

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