The Utah House Republican Caucus voted today to convene the entire body and create an investigative committee to look into the allegations surrounding Utah Attorney General John Swallow. They decided not to start impeachment proceedings at this time.
The decision to create an investigative committee instead of starting an impeachment process came after Republican caucus members spent more than two hours asking legislative counsel staff questions about the impeachment process. House Speaker Rebecca Lockhart says the decision will allow the House to get all the facts before asking the body to consider articles of impeachment.
“We want our own information," Lockhart says. "We want to be able to own that information as the representatives of the people. What you saw in there was a reflection of that. We want to do our investigation, we want our constituents to know that this is an issue that’s important to us and we know it’s important to them.”
Shortly after the Republican Caucus, John Swallow reaffirmed that he has no plans to resign. He also says that he believes the investigation will clear his name and that it’s the first step towards restoring the public trust in him.
“I respect the process and I think the legislature got it right," Swallow says. "I’m ready to get answers back to the people and answers back to the legislature. So I invite this process. And I think it’s great that the legislature got it right and felt like we’re not at the point yet where impeachment discussions need to get serious.”
House leadership members say they don’t have a date set for when they will gather to create the committee. But they do say it will most likely happen in the next few weeks. Once the committee is formed they will have several tools they can use to gather information, including the power to subpoena witnesses. House members say the findings of the committee could motivate them to begin formal impeachment proceedings.