Photo by Marjorie Kamys Cotera/The Texas Tribune
The impeachment trial of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is scheduled to begin on Tuesday of this week.
Paxton said over the weekend that he could not discuss his upcoming impeachment trial due to a gag order issued by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, but slammed the Texas House and alleged that the House Republicans were really being controlled by Democrats.
“But I can talk about something that I think has become maybe the leading issue we need to deal with as a country, and the state needs to deal with it,” Paxton said. “That is something known as the Texas House of Representatives and the leadership in the Texas House of Representatives.”
The crowd cheered in support of the embattled attorney general.
“We all know now the name Dade Phelan. We saw the videos of what happened, and we see his leadership,” Paxton continued.
Immediately before the House voted to impeach Paxton, the attorney general called on Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) to resign after videos showing him seemingly drunk while the House was in session, went viral on social media.
Phelan has still not answered questions regarding the videos, which show him struggling to stand, slurring his words, and appearing disoriented while conducting business in the House, and has not addressed whether he was under the influence or if it was a medical condition causing the issue.
“I want to explain to you — a lot of people don’t understand this because you’re not going to read about it in the media,” Paxton continued. “But the way the Texas House of Representatives now works is there are about 65 Democrats, and they have figured out that if they vote as a block, they get to pick the Republican who is their speaker.”
“And the deal is worked. Whatever Republican can give the Democrats the most gets all 65 Democrats,” Paxton claimed. “Then that speaker has his or her vote and has to get 10 more Republicans, which is not that hard when you start promising committee assignments. … That’s how we get the decision making in the Texas House that doesn’t look like Republican decisions.”
Republican organizations have criticized Phelan for joining with Democrats and for not deliving the Republican agenda, as well as the unfair process behind the impeachment of Paxton.
Phelan has defended the impeachment of Paxton, saying, “I stand behind what happened in the House, and I’m proud of the work product that the board of managers put forth. And we have a good team. And it was the right thing to do,” The Dallas Express has reported.
Phelan added, “I hope external pressures will not play a part in what I think is a very important piece of democracy, and that is … checks and balances on someone who did something wrong.”
The senate trial is scheduled to being on Tuesday September 5th. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick will act as judge. Senators, serving as jurors, will consider 16 of 20 articles of impeachment. The Senate previously voted to delay consideration of the other four. Paxton’s wife, Sen. Angela Paxton, will sit as a member of the court but will not vote on any decisions or participate in private deliberations, according to the Texas Tribune.