Impeachment or Witch-hunt?

Impeachment or Witch-hunt?

September 2, 2023


The impeachment trial of AG Ken Paxton starts on Tuesday, Sept 5 in the Texas Senate.  TTP has taken a position AGAINST this impeachment from the beginning because of the shady process that was employed. Texas law and the Texas Constitution provide guidance on how impeachment charges are to be brought, and the process used in this case completely disregards them all.

Please remember – this is not about Ken Paxton!  Love him or hate him, it is irrelevant.  If this impeachment is allowed to go forward, then we have lost all respect for the rule of law and our Texas Constitution, and we can expect it to happen again to other statewide leaders who are out of favor with House Leadership. Try to leave the Paxton name out of it.  As you read this, substitute Paxton for the name of your favorite elected person – because next time it might be him or her!

Our objections arise from the illegal and unconstitutional methods that were used to bring the articles of impeachment.  We believe the whole thing is politically motivated and that all charges should be dismissed by the Senate.  General Paxton has his issues, and there are matters pending in the courts, but none of them are a basis for impeachment, because they all happened with full knowledge of the voters who elected him.

We have a group of activists going to the Capitol on Tuesday for the start of the trial.  We will deliver a letter to all Senators, asking them to dismiss all charges.  We will also try to observe some of the trial sessions.  Here are some highlights from the letter, explaining why we object to the proceedings:

  • Successfully impeaching the Attorney General will be a slam dunk victory for Democrats who have been opposing AG Paxton for years due to his aggressive actions to defend liberty in Texas. It will also be a victory for certain Republicans who have been opposing AG Paxton since he ran for Speaker of the House against Joe Straus.  Political opposition is not a basis for impeachment.  If this impeachment is allowed to go forward, one can only guess who will be the next victim of an over-aggressive House leader or committee.
  • Prudent judicial process was not followed in the investigation leading up to the impeachment vote:
      • The House Committee on General Investigation met in secret without the knowledge of the rest of the members of the House and without public access.
      • Witnesses were not called to testify. Only the hired investigators testified about the people they interviewed (hearsay upon hearsay)
      • None of the people interviewed by the Committee were placed under oath as required by law.  (Sec. 301.022. TESTIMONY UNDER OATH. (a) All legislative committees shall require witnesses to give testimony under oath, subject to the penalties of perjury. (b) The oath required by this section may be waived by any committee except a general investigating committee.)
      • There was no opportunity to submit exculpatory evidence,
      • According to Chairman Murr, the impeachment investigation began because AG Paxton’s office requested the $3 million settlement in the whistleblower case from the appropriations committee. This might be cause to deny the request, but it hardly rises to the level of impeachment. (The whistleblower lawsuit was filed against the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), not Ken Paxton. AND….. if Paxton is removed from office, the settlement does not go away.  The State and the OAG will still have to deal with it).
      • House members were not informed of the investigation and were only notified when the Committee report was published, recommending impeachment. They were then given only 48 hours’ notice until the vote, and debate on the impeachment was limited to 4 hours.  Why the rush?  Previous impeachment investigations were held in public on the floor of the House, taking months to hear testimony and debate the issues.  Before the vote, huge pressure was put on members who opposed the impeachment.  This rushed process and the pressure from House leadership for members to vote for impeachment is shameful.
      • House members were not allowed a separate vote on each article of impeachment. It was an all or nothing proposition.
  • Texas Code sets out the policy of respecting the wisdom of voters. (Sec. 665.081. NO REMOVAL FOR ACTS COMMITTED BEFORE ELECTION TO OFFICE. (a) An officer in this state may not be removed from office for an act the officer may have committed before the officer’s election to office.) This impeachment would overturn the will of the voters who were aware of all allegations prior to election days and still elected AG Paxton with considerable margins in both the primary runoff and the general election.

The impeachment of Ken Paxton reeks of political revenge, the process was flawed, and Texans overwhelmingly want to keep Ken Paxton at the helm of the Attorney General’s Office.  We will urge Senators to make sure that AG Paxton is returned to his position as AG quickly to continue fighting for the people of Texas.

This trial is probably one of the most important legislative actions that any of us have ever or will ever see in the State of Texas.  Our very system of representative government, and balance of powers is at stake.  Citizens must speak up and challenge this impeachment!  To quote my friend, Tom Glass,

“It is not lost on the conservative voters of Texas that the same forces are using lawfare against Paxton for the same reason they are doing so against Trump – both stand in the way of the Deep State running the lives of Texans.”

Don’t let the Deep State state run the lives of Texans!  Fight back!  Contact every member of the Texas Senate and tell them to dismiss the impeachment charges.

For Texas always,

Fran Rhodes, President