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Impeached Judge Offers Early Resignation

By Ben Pershing
Less than a week after he was impeached by the House, imprisoned U.S. District Court Judge Samuel B. Kent today submitted his resignation from his post effective June 30, potentially heading off Senate efforts to remove him from the federal bench.

According to multiple reports, Kent handed his resignation letter to Senate officials who had come to serve him a summons at a federal prison facility in Massachusetts, where he is currently serving a 33-month sentence after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice in a probe of his alleged sexual abuse of female employees. After his guilty plea, Kent had offered to resign but made the effective date June 2010. That would have enabled him to continue to collect his six-figure salary for another year, a circumstance the House specifically sought to prevent by impeaching him last week.

"Kent's realization that we would not allow him to take advantage of the system proves that the system works and justice has been served," Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), one of the leaders of the movement to impeach Kent, told the Houston Chronicle.

Kent's resignation was announced today during the first meeting of the Senate's impeachment trial committee, chaired by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). President Obama must formally accept Kent's resignation for it to take effect, and neither the House nor the Senate has determined yet what it will do next in the case.

"The Senate today directed the Secretary of the Senate to deliver the original letter of resignation to the President and a certified copy to the House of Representatives," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a joint statement. "Additionally, the letter has been referred to the Senate impeachment trial committee. The Senate will determine appropriate action after the House has expressed its views about this development."

By Ben Pershing  |  June 25, 2009; 9:08 PM ET
Categories:  Ethics and Rules , Senate  
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Comments

He needs to be impeached, regardless of his last second resignation, to send the message to those in judicial power that they are not above the law...

Yet, the cozy relationship between this Congress and the Judiciary will likely result in his case being swept under the rug...

dr. o

Posted by: ad4hk2004 | June 26, 2009 7:17 AM | Report abuse

He needs to be convicted of the impeachment charges whether he resigns or not. He needs to be stripped of his pension, and that can only happen if the Senate acts favorably on the impeachment resolution.

The best move is for Barack Obama to refuse to accept Kent's resignation, forcing the Senate (which otherwise will turn to "more pressing matters") to act.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | June 26, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

If he is impeached he will lose his Retirement and other government benefits for life. Sure he wants to Resign; wouldn't you?

They should impeach him anyway!

Posted by: ddoiron1 | June 26, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

In private corporations, if you are guilty of theft or gross insubordination, you lose all benefits and all severance.

Why doesn't this rule apply to all government officials?

Are Congressman trying to shield, themselves, if and when they are caught?

Posted by: bmessina | June 26, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

He can run for Congress now, just like former impeached and CONVICTED, federal "judge" Alcee Hastings, now a member of Congress. Probably win too. ALWAYS room for one more CROOK in politics.

Posted by: PercyKution | June 26, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

WHAT THE HELL?!?

Get rid of this POS..Another Texan who thinks he is about the law!

Send Texas citizens a message...

This is the USA and we have laws, Texas sadly to say is still part of the USA.

Posted by: 1-20-09 | June 26, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Don't know how you can impeach someone who is not in office. Impeachment proceedings only serve to remove someone from office. Nothing more. Impeachment is confused in the minds of many as being some sort of criminal proceeding, but it is only a political process for removing someone who has so abused their position that they should be removed from the office they hold. So for example, when richard nixon used the powers of the presidency for personal gain and to undermine democracy and rig the 1972 election he was on the road to being removed from office. He could then have been prosecuted for any number of crimes, but that would have been a separate thing. When President Clonton had an affair and then lied to an out of control council who was supposed to be investigating a decade old real estate loan he did nothing to subvert his duty as president. He could hav faced purjury charges after his term expired, but there was insufficient grounds for such a case. Purjury is not just simply lying under oath. It has to be lying intentionally, which you could p[robably have proved, but the lie also has to be germane to the case at hand. Pretty enormous stretch from a real estate loan in Arkansas to a hummer in the Oval.

Posted by: John1263 | June 26, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

If the president consults with the senate and finds they have the votes to impeach he can simply refuse to recognize the resignation and let them have at him. Thus saving the taxpayers from paying a pension for this criminal.

Posted by: John1263 | June 26, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Can't we impeach five of the US Supreme Court Justices while we're at, starting with the activist justices who selected Comrade Bush to destroy America?

It would be only fair.

Posted by: WillSeattle | June 26, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

The President and Congress should reject proffered resignation. This judge is a convicted criminal who committed his crimes at work. If his resignation is accepted, this means that my family and all other Americans will be required to pay him a $174,000 pension for life. If he is not fit to be a judge because he betrayed the public trust, he definitely is not deserving of a judicial pension!

Posted by: ljach | June 26, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

The President and Congress should reject proffered resignation. This judge is a convicted criminal who committed his crimes at work. If his resignation is accepted, this means that my family and all other Americans will be required to pay him a $174,000 pension for life. If he is not fit to be a judge because he betrayed the public trust, he definitely is not deserving of a judicial pension!

Posted by: ljach | June 26, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

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