Alabama governor halts impeachment, not disparaging report

Ross Garber, an attorney for Bentley, said his legal team would submit briefs to the Supreme Court by 1pm CDT today, the deadline set by the justices.

The unanimous decision means the process that could lead to Bentley's removal from office - sparked by allegations that the governor had an affair with senior political adviser Rebekah Caldwell Mason and misused state resources pursuing it - will resume Monday morning. "Do you still have a relationship going?" she wrote.

In addition to the report, the commission purchased a web domain, www.BentleyInvestigation.com, where it posted impeachment-related documents that include such evidence as intimate text messages between the governor and his former aide, Rebekah Mason, with whom he's accused of having an affair.

State lawmakers on Friday night filed a notice of emergency appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court - capping a long day of escalating hostilities between the Republican governor and the Republican-controlled legislature.

The Associated Press on Friday said an impeachment report found that Bentley "encouraged an atmosphere of intimidation" in an effort to keep his relationship with the adviser quiet. He says he probably saw a couple of these, and recalls language like: "I'm glad you're my friend" or "you're handsome".

One entry notes that Mason bragged that Bentley once told her he opened the door of his Washington, D.C., hotel in his boxer shorts, errantly thinking it was her knocking. He said it was unprecedented for the judicial branch to block a legislative proceeding. He would frequently see in passing, or reflected on Governor Bentley's passenger window in the vehicle, emojis in Governor Bentley's text messages. The report also contains accusations that Bentley brought Mason with him in state vehicles and aircraft, at times overriding his security detail to do so. Collier said Mason wielded so much power that she was considered the "de facto governor".

"I continue to have confidence that there will ultimately be fairness and due process in this matter". He also said the impeachment articles accusing Bentley of corruption and neglect of duty are "extremely vague". The commission referred the case to a prosecutor, who will decide whether to seek criminal charges.

All of this came after Senate President Pro Temp Del Marsh made a similar statement yesterday, calling on the governor to resign after the Ethics Commission announced their findings Wednesday. Garber said that since 1929 only two USA governors have been removed by impeachment and both were under criminal indictment.

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