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The Impeachment Games
Senate forces Angela Paxton to recuse. Impeachment trial scheduled for September 5, 2023.
When Ken Paxton was impeached from the House, the impeachment was sent to the Senate to decide the rules and set a date. On May 29, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick assigned an “impeachment rules committee” where they were supposed to establish the rules of impeachment, then present the rules to the Senate on June 20.
The committee was supposed to consist of:
Brian Birdwell (chair)
Chuy Hinojosa (vice-chair)
All month long, I kept an eye on the Senate Committee calendar. Never once was a committee hearing scheduled. It should have been on the schedule even if the hearing was a closed session and behind closed doors. But no meeting was ever scheduled. Any meetings they had, they held in secret.
Come June 20, the Senate was scheduled to meet at 11 am. They met, discussed a bill and a resolution, then gaveled to recess until 1 pm. They came back at 1 pm and immediately gaveled back to recess until 6 pm. It was assumed at that point the entire Senate body was debating the rules behind closed doors.
When they returned at 6 pm, they called another recess until 9 pm. Then, at 9 pm, they called a recess until today.
June 20 came and went, and there were no impeachment rules.
The Senate gavelled in at 10 am, then again at 1 pm, 5 pm, and 6:30 pm…each time stating that they needed to go back to recess. All the while, the entire Senate, including Dan Patrick, is behind closed doors. According to Scott Braddock of the Quorum Report, not only are they debating the rules in private, but they are also making staff members sign NDAs.
So much for transparency.
Finally, after OUR elected public officials spent two days behind doors in a secret meeting determining the rules of Paxton’s impeachment trial, they called the session to order at 7:30 pm on June 21.
The rule’s resolution, SR 35, has been published, but the text (the actual rules) has not. Aside from a few details, we still don’t know much about the rules yet. Perhaps the clerk will have the text for SR 35 tomorrow.
The Quorum Report reports that ethics won, and the Senate forces Angela Paxton to recuse herself. This was the right call since she had no plans of recusing herself.
Texas Senate approved the rules for the impeachment trial for AG Ken Paxton 25-3. Angela Paxton was one of the “no” votes.
Below is the resolution being read on the floor. Dan Patrick takes a minute to remind everyone of rule 10, sections B and C—no one in the impeachment court can talk about the impeachment with Ken Paxton or his attorneys, and no members can publicly acknowledge their positions on the trial.
The impeachment trial will be held on September 5, 2023, at 9 am. Stay tuned.