A text message that’s been at the center of the Governor Robert Bentley impeachment investigation, but has been a mystery until now, was revealed in a report released Friday. The report to the House Judiciary Committee details, among other things, the content of a text that’s made headline but never revealed.
According to the report
“In the first few days of August, Lewis (Wendell Ray Lewis, the head of Bentley’s security detail) reported … (Rebekah) Mason was inappropriately text-messaging Governor Bentley. Stan Stabler, who served as a “body man” for Governor Bentley on Lewis’s detail, says he began to notice that Governor Bentley was developing new text-messaging habits. He would frequently see in passing, or reflected on Governor Bentley’s passenger window in the vehicle, emojis in Governor Bentley’s text messages. He thought this strange behavior for a gentleman in his seventies. He says he probably saw a couple of these, and recalls language like: “I’m glad you’re my friend” or “you’re handsome.” He says he assumed these were communications with Rebekah Mason because of their timing in relation to phone calls between Mason and Governor Bentley, but he never actually saw Mason’s name associated with these texts. Stabler recalls that Lewis would frequently ask his detail members about Mason and Governor Bentley, and that Stabler told Lewis about the text message in the course of one of those discussions. Stabler denies, however, that his communication with Lewis was a “report,” which, he says, would have been documented in a memorandum to Lewis. Lewis reported to Collier in early August that Stabler had reported to Lewis seeing a text message from Mason to Bentley that said: “Thank you for being my special friend, I love you.”