On Wednesday, three legal experts unanimously determined there were five offenses that constitute grounds for impeachment
The Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico has given Governor Ricardo Rossello two choices Wednesday: resign or be impeached.
As protests reached the 12th consecutive day, Puerto Ricans woke on Wednesday expecting Rossello to announce his resignation as reported by national news outlets, including the island’s most popular newspaper, El Nuevo Dia.
However, as the day progressed, the static silence eminating from Rossello's administration and the amassing of security forces and riot police in the governor’s mansion told a different story.
Yet the island’s legislature began its own process to pressure Rossello. Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives Speaker, Carlos Mendez Nuñez, commissioned three attorneys to prepare a report on the legal feasibility of an impeachment process.
The legal experts unanimously determined there were five offenses that constitute grounds for impeachment. Attorneys found that Rossello committed four serious offenses and one misdemeanor, including illicitly using public resources and services for partisan purposes. He also allowed government officials and contractors to misuse public funds and time for non-government work.
“The impeachment process has started,” said Mendez, who is also a member of the governor’s New Progressive Party. The politician told reporters that the only thing that would stop the process is if the governor resigns.
More reinforcements moving in, from the inside the Governors compound, heading to the protest line.— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) July 25, 2019
Everything is peaceful.
The crowd is very loud.
This is the 12 straight night of protests.
As the cops move in, we wait to find out when the Governor will give his address. pic.twitter.com/FWyLLL0sAS
“The government is collapsing. It has been a chaotic day, fueled by the near silence of his staff. We were just told that the governor is working on an address for the Puerto Rican people that he will deliver tonight,” CBS journalist David Begnaud reported from inside the mansion's grounds.
The protests and the call for resignation are the results of an 889-page document, released by the non-profit journalism group Center for Investigative Journalism on July 13, which revealed the official has led a racist, misogynist smear campaign against his competitors and journalists. Rossello also faced allegations of corruption and mishandling of public funds in his administration.
On Sunday evening Rossello said would not seek re-election and will resign as president of his party, yet he refused to resign as Governor stating that he is determined to complete his term which will come to end on January 2021.