Puerto Rico Legislature to begin impeachment process against Gov. Ricardo Rosselló – NBC News

The Puerto Rican Legislature is ready to initiate an impeachment process against embattled Gov. Ricardo Rosselló.

The news on Wednesday came after three attorneys commissioned by the president of Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives, Carlos Méndez Núñez, found five offenses that constitute grounds for impeachment, according to Telemundo and other news outlets.

In an afternoon press conference, Méndez Núñez told reporters that the only thing that would stop the process is if the governor resigns. If Rosselló steps down, then the report would be passed on to the relevant authorities.

Hours earlier, Rosselló’s public affairs secretary, Anthony Maceira, had issued a statement reacting to rumors about the governor’s possible resignation.

Rosselló hasn’t resigned and is presently in Puerto Rico,” the statement read. “We reiterate that any official communication will be shared with the media.”

The news follows the island’s largest protest in recent history calling for Rosselló’s ouster over scandals involving leaked private chats as well as corruption investigations and arrests.

Rosselló would be the U.S. commonwealth’s first governor to be impeached.

“We concluded that indeed our recommendation to the corresponding body is to proceed with a government trial that starts by presenting a formal accusation document so that the proceedings continue in the corresponding chamber, which is the Senate of Puerto Rico,” Enrique Colón, one of the appointed lawyers, said at a press conference.

News of Rosselló’s impeachment process came a day after NBC News and Telemundo, both owned by NBC Universal, reported that the island’s Justice Department had issued search warrants to confiscate the cellphones of several people who took part in the private chats.

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