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Federal Impeachment

Samuel B. Kent

Judge Kent was appointed to the federal bench in 1990, presiding in a one-judge court for the Southern District of Texas. On May 11, 2009, Kent was sentenced to thirty-three months in prison for lying to investigators about sexually abusing two female employees. Impeachment proceedings began shortly thereafter, following a statement from Kent’s counsel that the judge would take a disability retirement rather than resign. This would have allowed Kent to collect his annual judicial salary for the remainder of his life. To prevent Kent from receiving a lifetime salary, the House moved quickly to impeach him under four articles related to high crimes and misdemeanors: two articles based on Kent’s sexual assault of two court employees, one based on his false statements in connection with the investigation stemming from the sexual assault allegations, and one based on his felony obstruction of justice related to the foregoing investigation. The House impeached Kent on June 19, 2009. Kent avoided a Senate impeachment trial by submitting a letter of resignation, effective June 30, 2009. The articles of impeachment were dismissed on July 22, 2009

Resources

The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are provided when available.