MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Governor Robert Bentley’s attorney, Ross Garber, called a press conference Thursday to address legal procedures in connection with the impeachment investigation.
He told reporters he has filed an emergency motion to afford due process protections to the governor, and he believes the committee will respond favorably.
Garber called the tentative impeachment schedule “remarkably prejudicial.”
“Special counsel has hijacked the investigation,” said Garber.
He said he wants the committee to take control of the investigation and give the governor due process.
Garber said the process outlined in the schedule does not allow the governor to face the witnesses against him or see the evidence against him before he is required to defend himself.
He called the schedule “fundamentally unfair and a thinly veiled rush to judgement” by Special Counsel Jack Sharman.
“This private lawyer who has made hundreds of thousands of dollars of Alabama taxpayer money and continues to do so, promptly seized control of this investigation and has engaged in actions that violate the Alabama Constitution and the rules of the House of Representatives and indeed the committee’s own directives,” said Garber.
Garber has requested a hearing on his motion no later than Wednesday, April 5. Sharman is slated to deliver his report to the committee and to the public April 7.
If the committee accepts the motion, it could postpone the report.
The process has already seen multiple delays. In early March, the committee voted to ask Sharman to continue with the investigation after a long delay at the request of the Alabama Attorney General’s Office under Luther Strange.
However, Garber says he’s only asking the committee to do what they said they would do when the investigation began.
“I hope to be able to work collaboratively with them because truly we don’t want this process to be unduly lengthy or unduly expensive,” he said. “To be clear we have not been given discovery, we have not been given notice of even potential impeachment charges, and have not been able to cross examine witnesses.”