The leadership of the House Judiciary Committee is threatening to move forward with an impeachment probe if a federal judge in Houston does not resign.
U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent was sentenced today to 33 months in prison for lying to investigators about whether he sexually abused his secretary, The Associated Press reports. Kent pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in February, as jury selection in his trial was about to begin. He has signaled his intent to retire on disability — which would allow him to receive full retirement benefits at an early age — and legislators hope to block that.
“Unless Judge Samuel Kent immediately resigns, we intend to introduce a resolution jointly tomorrow to commence an inquiry into whether grounds exist to impeach him and remove him from office,” said Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., and Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the top Republican on the committee, in a joint statement today.
The Judiciary Committee already has one such inquiry ongoing for U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Porteous Jr. of the Eastern District of Louisiana.