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 Post subject: Judge Samuel Kent Impeached By House
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 5:52 pm 
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Judge Samuel Kent Impeached By House

WASHINGTON — The House on Friday impeached a federal judge imprisoned for lying about sexual assaults of two women in the first such vote since impeaching former President Bill Clinton a decade ago.

The impeachment of U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent of Texas sets up a trial in the Senate. Kent is the first federal judge impeached in 20 years.

The House approved four articles of impeachment against Kent accusing him of sexually assaulting two female employees and lying to judicial investigators and Justice Department officials. All four articles passed unanimously.

"The conduct at issue here is both shocking and shameful," Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said at the start of the debate.

Kent, 59, entered a federal prison in Massachusetts on Monday to serve a 33-month sentence. He pleaded guilty last month to lying to judicial investigators about sexual assaults of two female employees.

Kent is refusing to resign until next year so he can continue to draw his $174,000 a year salary. If he is convicted of the impeachment charges in the Senate, he will be forced off the bench.

When contacted for comment, Kent's lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, cited an earlier statement in which he said Kent's troubles might be enough for impeachment in the House but would not have produced a conviction in the Senate.

Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said he was not unsympathetic to Kent, who has said he has suffered depression since his first wife's death and had problems with alcohol abuse. But Smith said Kent does not have the right to continue as a federal judge and collect his salary.


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