AUSTIN, Texas — After Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was acquitted in his impeachment trial, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presided over the trial, blasted the Texas House for the way they handled it.
The impeachment trial lasted two weeks, ending with Paxton being acquitted on all 16 articles of impeachment in the Texas Senate. After those acquittals, senators voted to dismiss the remaining four articles.
Before senators were dismissed, Patrick spoke about the process, which started in May when the House adopted articles of impeachment and sent them to the Texas Senate for trial.
“I’ve been unusually quiet for the last three months since the House of Representatives sent the article of impeachment to us with very short notice,” Patrick began.
Patrick then unleashed a blistering attack, saying the process was rushed and vowed to pursue a change in the Texas constitution so that it couldn’t happen again.
You can watch Patrick's full address in the video window above.
“The Speaker (House Speaker Dade Phelan) and his team rammed through the first impeachment of a statewide-elected official in Texas in over 100 years while paying no attention to the precedent,” Patrick said.
Patrick went on to say he’d call for a full audit of how taxpayer money was spent in the impeachment process.
“We will provide our costs, as well, that were forced on us by the House impeachment. One big difference is that the Senate did not pay a huge team of outside lawyers and investigators," he said.
He finished by saying, “an impeachment should never happen again in the House like it happened this year.”
When he was done, Patrick dismissed senators.
Phelan responded in a written statement expressing disappointment with the acquittal and accusing Patrick of bias for "placing his contempt for the people's House on full display."
"To be clear, Patrick attacked the House for standing up against corruption. His tirade disrespects the Constitutional impeachment process afforded to us by the founders of this great state," Phelan said. "The inescapable conclusion is that today’s outcome appears to have been orchestrated from the start, cheating the people of Texas of justice."
Paxton is not out of the woods yet. There’s a hearing on his securities fraud trial in Harris County coming up on October 6.
Below is Patrick's full statement. Scroll down for Phelan's full statement.
House speaker Dade Phelan also released a statement after the acquittal.