Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is criticizing three grand jurors from the Breonna Taylor case for anonymously filing an impeachment petition against him.
In a response to the petition filed with the Kentucky House of Representatives on Friday, Cameron’s office called the effort a “mockery of the solemn constitutional process of impeachment” and defended his handling of Taylor’s case.
Three unnamed grand jurors from the case filed the petition to impeach Cameron last week, saying the attorney general misled the public about evidence he presented and charges he recommended against officers involved in the raid on Taylor’s apartment.
In Cameron’s official reply, Deputy Attorney General Barry Dunn dismissed the petition as a “sign of the times,” where the country has experienced “a once-in-a-century pandemic, political vitriol on all sides, cancel culture, mass unemployment, cities burning, spiking crime, a continued assault on the rule of law, and simply put, difficult circumstances all around.”
“Today, impeachment has become fashionable,” Dunn wrote. “But referral to this Committee is as far as this petition should go.”
Though citizen impeachment petitions are usually reviewed and dismissed with little fanfare, this year the GOP-led House of Representatives took the unusual step of forming a special committee to review a petition filed against Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear.
That effort opened the door for citizens to seek the impeachment of other state officials with petitions now filed against state Rep. Robert Goforth and Cameron, both Republicans.
The grand jurors’ claim against Cameron focuses on his decision to not present charges against Louisville police officers for killing Breonna Taylor last year.
Instead Cameron only recommended charging former detective Brett Hankison on three counts of wanton endangerment for shooting his gun into neighboring apartments during the raid.
The grand jurors argue that Cameron made “blatantly false” public statements about what charges his office presented during the Breonna Taylor case, including his claim that prosecutors “walked them through every homicide offense.”
In Cameron’s response to the impeachment petition, Dunn wrote that grand jurors could have asked for more information and recommended different charges.
“The three anonymous grand jurors and [their attorney, Kevin Glogower] have continually blamed the Attorney General for perceived shortcomings. But what about the grand jurors’ responsibility—while the grand jury was empaneled and receiving evidence—if they thought a crime was committed or if they wanted more information?” Dunn wrote.
Dunn also argues that since the grand jurors have remained anonymous by having their attorney, Kevin Glogower, sign the impeachment petition, it should be thrown out.
“They may be able to use Glogower as a curtain for purposes of discussing their grand jury experience and expressing their displeasure with the outcome of the Taylor case. But they cannot hide behind Glogower or anyone else to seek impeachment of a duly elected constitutional officer,” Dunn wrote.
Anna Whites, an attorney representing the petitioners, says the attorney general’s response amounts to an attack on the grand jurors’ confidentiality.
“These citizens had no option but to serve on the AG’s grand jury. The AG then deceived the public about the grand jury’s work. When the grand jurors went to court to correct his misstatements, he insisted on grand jury secrecy. Now in his response, he argues that they must reveal their identities or go unheard. Abusing grand jury secrecy to escape accountability is a grave misuse of power,” Whites wrote in a statement.
The grand jurors also argue that Cameron misused public funds to support a multi-state lawsuit against Pennsylvania’s election results and supported unlawful actions as a member of the National Association of Attorneys General’s executive committee, which funded robocalls urging people to march to the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
Dunn wrote that Cameron didn’t know about the robocall before it was sent out and that he stands by his decision to support the challenge against Pennsylvania’s election results.
“Certainly this body wants the Attorney General to argue in favor of protecting its constitutional right to set the laws that govern elections,” Dunn wrote.
The state House of Representatives can decide whether to assign the petition against Cameron to the impeachment committee when it reconvenes on Tuesday.
This story has been updated.