GOP state lawmakers file articles of impeachment against Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine

The Republican lawmaker leading the charge first threatened impeachment back in August

Ohio state GOP lawmakers on Tuesday filed articles of impeachment against Republican Gov. Mike DeWine over his mask mandate and order for businesses to close to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

The group of Republicans, led by state Rep. John Becker, have filed 12 articles of impeachment in what they say is an “effort to restore the rule of law.”

They allege that DeWine’s orders were unconstitutional and an “abuse of power.”

Becker said in a statement that 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 loves ones,” he said.

The impeachment effort, which Becker first threatened in August, is likely to go nowhere, however. DeWine shrugged off Becker’s efforts, saying at the time that his priorities were “to keep people safe and get our economy moving faster.”

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“If there are others in the legislature who want to spend their time drawing up resolutions and filing articles … I’d just say to them, ‘Have at it,’” he said.

Fox News has reached out to the governor’s office with a request for comment.

Last week, a group of New Hampshire state GOP state lawmakers led a similar charge against Republican Gov. Chris Sununu over his efforts to combat the coronavirus. The lawmakers charged that Sununu exceeded his constitutional authority as he’s taken to curb the spread of the pandemic.

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The lawmakers – five House Republican incumbents and two incoming legislators – said on Tuesday that they were dropping their impeachment effort in favor of legislation to reduce the governor’s emergency powers, the New Hampshire Union Leader reported

Fox News' David Aaro contributed to this report

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