Associated Press/Nick Wagner
On July 12th, Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick issued an order, that requires all parties to “confer and accomplish the following as soon as practicable”. This order includes requiring the House Managers to provide documentation to Paxton’s attorneys in preparation for impeachment trial of Attorney General Ken Paxton, which is scheduled to begin in early September.
The order was issued in response to a complaint that Paxton’s attorneys filed on July 7th. Paxton’s lead attoreny, Tony Buzbee, has claimed that the house has refused to turn over any information required by law, involving the impeachment trial.
“The House Managers appointed by [Speaker Dade] Phelan, including Andrew Murr, continue to disregard individual rights and due process guaranteed by the United States and the Texas Constitution by withholding basic information they are legally required to disclose,” Buzbee said. “We have demanded this information to which Attorney General Ken Paxton is entitled. In every court in the country, this type of information would be freely exchanged by prosecutors, and we have demanded that it be produced. The House has ignored our demands and the Attorney General’s constitutional rights”, Center Square has reported.
“Due to these refusals, the House Mangers have abandoned the rule of law and have demonstrated nothing but contempt and disrespect for the Texas Senate as they openly mock the process and rules adopted by the upper chamber,” he said. “It is imperative that the Senate take immediate action to force the House Managers to follow the law.”
Paxton’s attorneys have maintained that the House impeached Paxton with no evidence, “and now they are desperate to manufacture new charges,” Buzbee said. “Apparently they want to saddle the Senate with weeks of testimony over baseless allegations. While the House is trying to cover their tracks, I hope the Senate will embrace transparency and order Phelan’s disciples to follow the law and disclose required information to the defense.”
The order requires that House Managers provide all reports, documents, business records, government records, papers, recorded witness statements, among others in possession of House officials relevant to any of the articles of impeachment. The order also requires that House Managers make available for inspection by Paxton’s attorneys all physical evidence, documents and photographs that are expected to be introduced at trial.
Failure to comply with the order “may result in the exclusion of the evidence at issue and/or contempt of court,” it states.
The House Managers have so far provided six boxes of documents, which Paxton’s attorney is calling a ruse and called the process a “kangaroo court”.
“While House managers, of course, tried to appear compliant with the Lt. Governor’s order by providing a mere six boxes of inconsequential documents which contained nothing new and absolutely no evidence of wrongdoing, [House Speaker Dade] Phelan’s kangaroo court is now defying the Lt. Governor’s order for production by demanding that Attorney General Paxton agree to keep everything provided secret from the people of Texas. This ridiculous demand is an attempt by the House to delay the Senate trial. Phelan’s kangaroo court is mocking the Senate and demonstrating contempt for the Lt. Governor.”
“This demand for secrecy is unacceptable but not surprising from members of the very kangaroo court that impeached Ken Paxton, a body that was guided by politics instead of the law,” Buzbee said regarding Rep. Andrew Murr’s refusal to comment on the case. “It is clear that the House realizes there is no evidence to support impeachment, and the House doesn’t want the people of Texas to learn this fact.”
Rep. Andrew Murr, R-Junction, chairs the GIC and is leading the House Managers.
Buzbee also asked Patrick “to force Phelan and the liberal House behind this sham impeachment to immediately comply with his order to disclose documents. The people of Texas deserve transparency and the liberal politicians in the Texas House who are siding with Joe Biden should not be allowed to hide the fact that it was a kangaroo court behind this impeachment with no evidence. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”
On Monday, the Lt Gov. also issued a gag order and said that “In order to keep the public informed of dates and orders I issue, the Senate has established a website that the public can check daily to stay updated on the latest filings.” Patrick said that he is prohibited from discussing the merits of the trial.
The impeachment of Paxton is being seen as many as a witch-hunt and a kanagroo court and that has lead to fundraising records.
According to a press release from Ken Paxton’s office, in the near “two months after the House’s sham and illegal impeachment, Attorney General Ken Paxton raised $1.7 million dollars in 11 days.”
Paxton won re-election to a third term in 2022 by around 10% and is not up for re-election again until 2026.