COLUMBUS, Ohio — Twelve articles of impeachment have been filed against Gov. DeWine by several state representatives over his coronavirus response, claiming the governor used his "abuse of executive power."
Republican state representative John Becker, of Clermont County, led the effort and he was joined in the filing by Republican representatives Candice Keller of Middletown, Paul Zeltwanger of Mason and Nino Vitale of Urbana.
Many of their issues with DeWine are in response to his orders to the pandemic.
Becker said DeWine's abuse of power includes meddling in the conduct of the presidential election, closing and placing curfews on certain businesses.
Becker also claimed Ohioans find the mask mandate offensive and insulting while saying there is evidence masks can be a health hazard.
“Rather than hearing the cries of Ohioans, Gov. DeWine continues to stifle those cries by finding more inventive ways to use masks to muffle the voices of the people. He continues to have callous disregard for the fact that his isolation policies have led to a shockingly high number of suicides, alarming rates of drug abuse, persistently high unemployment, and the forced abandonment of the elderly by their loved ones,” said representative Becker in a press release.
DeWine was asked about the impeachment articles during a Monday afternoon news conference on the state of COVID-19 in Ohio.
"I'd like for them to go in and talk to some nurses, who are frontline nurses, who are dealing with people who are dying. I'd like for them to go talk to some family members - maybe a family that didn't believe that this could happen. Now at Christmas, there will be one less person at their table or more. So, at some point this foolishness has got to stop," said DeWine.
Becker announced in August he drafted 10 articles of impeachment.
According to the Ohio Constitution, the House of Representatives have the sole power of impeachment and a majority of lawmakers would need to support that to move forward.
The impeachment would then be tried by the Ohio Senate and a conviction would happen if at least two-thirds of the senators vote to impeach the governor.
Becker has called on Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp, of Lima to assign the articles to the Federalism Committee, of which Becker is the chair.
Becker said he sees two hearings on the articles happening in December.