Several conservative House members in Texas are calling for Speaker Phelan to resign after the “sham impeachment.” There was no evidence. Ken Paxton’s lawyer blamed the Bush supporters for the impeachment, and some claimed they are moving left politically because they think Texas will turn blue.
Jonathan Strickland and Rep. Steve Toth Called It a Sham
“You and your band of RINOs are now on notice,” Defend Texas Liberty PAC leader Jonathan Stickland tweeted at Phelan on Saturday as voting continued in the Texas Senate. “You will be held accountable for this entire sham. We will never stop. Retire now.”
“The Texas House owes all of Texas a big apology,” said Rep. Steve Toth, a Republican from the Woodlands and a member of the House’s Freedom Caucus, which threw its support behind Paxton. “This was a sham … This is terribly destructive to the Republican Party of Texas.”
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Gave a Blistering Speech
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presided over the trial, gave a blistering speech in which he condemned the House impeachment managers and Phelan, with whom Patrick has long been at odds over school-choice legislation and other conservative bills that did not make it out of the Texas House during this year’s legislative session. Patrick noted that the vote was rushed in 48 hours, there was no due process for Mr. Paxton, and lawyers were not allowed to cross-examine witnesses. He believes it violated the state Constitution.
Patrick said the House didn’t follow the rules of evidence and “the impeachment never should have happened.” He also called for an audit of House expenditures to determine how much taxpayer money the House “wasted. He said it was in the millions.
[If you watched the trial, you know there was no evidence presented, lots of hearsay, no evidence.]
However, Speaker Phelan said there was extensive evidence.
Phelan said other lawsuits and investigations are ongoing. The Texas newspapers are calling Paxton and anyone who agrees with him far-right.
Speaker Dade Phelan Just Issued An Incredible Statement After Completion of the Impeachment Trial, Condemning Lt. Gov. Patrick and Attorney General Paxton. https://t.co/uxyapOZQyo
— Dr. Steven Hotze (@DrStevenHotze) September 16, 2023
Ken Paxton’s lawyer’s closing, posted by Dr. Steven Hotze.
— Dr. Steven Hotze (@DrStevenHotze) September 16, 2023
Houston-based Dr. Steve Hotze, who heads the Conservative Republicans of Texas PAC, told The Center Square, “After ramming sham impeachment charges against Attorney General Paxton through the Texas House, RINO Speaker Dade Phelan had the gall to rail against Lt. Gov. Patrick and Attorney General Paxton after Paxton was acquitted of all impeachment charges by the Texas Senate. Phelan’s letter brought shame upon himself and his RINO supporters in the Texas House.”
Rep. Toth didn’t Blindly Walk the Plank
Rep. Steve Toth said on X: The duo of Phelan and Murr asked members to blindly walk the plank. “Trust us,” they said. “We have all the evidence to put Paxton away.” They didn’t. They lied, and now these House Members will face the scorn of voters in March.
He believes Phelan should resign and noted that Donald Trump is calling for Phelan’s resignation. Toth also said the House members shouldn’t have fallen for it without seeing the evidence.
“The impeachment of Attorney General Ken Paxton was unjust,” Toth wrote on X. When the House voted to impeach Attorney General Paxton, I was one of just 23 Members who voted “No.” My initial concern was that the House rushed the process and broke with several precedences’ undermining their credibility. After two weeks of testimony, AG Ken Paxton was not only acquitted, he was completely exonerated. Shame on the Texas House and Speaker Dade Phelan’s attempt to undermine the will of Texas voters.
Toth and the Republican Party of Texas were among the first to call the impeachment vote illegal and a “sham.”
Rep. Harrison Applauded the Senate and Called for Phelan to Resign
Rep. Brian Harrison, R-Waxahachie, also called on Phelan to resign. In a lengthy statement, he applauded the Senate for “conducting a fair and transparent trial and for reaching a verdict that was obviously correct given the shocking lack of evidence. The Texas House leadership, who misled and pressured Republicans to join a Democrat effort to overturn the election, has, possibly irreparably, disgraced itself and tarnished the reputation of the entire Texas House.
“The staggering incompetence and dishonest conduct on display by the leadership of the Texas House, House General Investigating Committee, and Board of Managers must be repudiated.”
The House General Investigating Committee claims that AG Paxton “demonstrated a ‘shocking pattern of abuse and criminality’ and ‘the evidence we found was conclusive,’” he said, “were either outright lies, or the House Managers were so blinded by their desire to railroad a political enemy that they failed to take the time to learn the truth.”
Speaker Phelan Responds and Gets Rebuked
Phelan accused Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presided over the trial, of “bias.” Phelan responded to Patrick’s scathing rebuke of the House for bringing charges of impeachment with no evidence to support them. Patrick was silent until after the decision was rendered.
Phelan said Patrick’s “tirade disrespects the Constitutional impeachment process.” He also accused Patrick and Republican senators who voted to acquit that the outcome of acquittal “appears to have been orchestrated from the start, cheating the people of Texas of justice.”
In response to Phelan’s statement, Matt Rinaldi, Chair of the Republican Party of Texas, said, “This Speaker has done more political damage to his own supporters than any in recent history. With this statement, he’s making clear that he doesn’t intend to change a thing unless he’s removed.”
“Phelan will be defeated by his district’s voters in the upcoming 2024 Texas Republican Primary. He already has three opponents, including former Chairman of the Orange County Republican Party David Covey, who is a solid conservative.
Paxton issued a statement after his acquittal, saying:
“The truth prevailed. The truth could not be buried by mudslinging politicians or their powerful benefactors.
“The sham impeachment coordinated by the Biden Administration with liberal House Speaker Dade Phelan and his kangaroo court has cost taxpayers millions of dollars, disrupted the work of the Office of Attorney General, and left a dark and permanent stain on the Texas House. The weaponization of the impeachment process to settle political differences is not only wrong, it is immoral and corrupt. Now that this shameful process is over, my work to defend our constitutional rights will resume.”