Texas AG Ken Paxton speaks on impeachment efforts, calls it 'deceitful impeachment attempt'
HOUSTON - Amid the impeachment efforts coming from the Republican-led House Ethics Committee, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton held a press conference to speak on the actions.
During the nearly 10 minutes long conference, Paxton referred to the actions as a "deceitful impeachment attempt".
To read the full transcript of the press conference read below:
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Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General
By proceeding with this illegal impeachment scheme to overturn a decision made by Texas voters just a few short months ago, the corrupt politicians in the Texas House are demonstrating that blind loyalty to Speaker Dade Phelan is more important than upholding their oath of office. They are determined to ignore the law. They have denied me the opportunity to present the evidence which contradicts their politically motivated narrative. And they are showcasing their absolute contempt for the electoral process. Every politician who supports this deceitful impeachment attempt will inflict lasting damage on the credibility of the Texas House, which I served in. The House is poised to do exactly what Joe Biden has been hoping to accomplish since his first day in office. Sabotage our work, my work, as attorney general of Texas. Their plot imperils critical litigation my office has brought against the Biden Administration to end the federal government's attacks on our constitutional rights and the rule of law. There is no other state in this country with so much influence over the fate of our nation. And this is solely because of the relentless challenges I bring against Biden's unconstitutional policy agenda. Under my leadership, our state has sued Biden nearly 50 times to end his unlawful tyrannical policies.
In fact, this week, while the Texas House was killing essential bills on crime and illegal immigration, and plotting their illegal impeachment scheme in secret, it was business as usual for me. I was launching lawsuits against the Biden administration and predatory corporations. On Tuesday, I sued the Biden Department of Homeland Security to end his illegal use of CBP One app that brings more aliens into the country. On Wednesday, I announced a lawsuit against global hotel chain Hilton for violating Texas consumer protection laws. On Thursday, I sued Biden's IRS over his devastating new policy that will impair Child Support Services in our state and across the nation, putting millions of children at risk. Then, I announced an $85 million settlement that we secured with Volkswagen and Audi over the violations of Texas environmental laws. For us, it's pretty routine. As Attorney General, I'm leading dozens of urgent challenges against Biden's unlawful policies. My lawsuits threatened his destructive attempts to open the borders, obliterate our Second Amendment rights, and destroy our country with extremist, tyrannical regulations. In addition to defending Texas from illegal federal policy, my offices work night and day to solve cold cases, fight human trafficking, prosecute Medicaid fraud, and hold predatory corporations accountable when they harm the public.
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For this crucial work to continue, the political theater must come to an end. I'm grateful for the outpouring of support I've received from so many Texans who understand this process is unjust and unethical. The fact that I was prohibited from presenting evidence to defend myself reveals that this shameful process was curated from the start as an act of political retribution. This vote is expected to take place Saturday at 1 p.m. And I want to invite my fellow citizens and friends to peacefully come let their voices be heard at the Capitol tomorrow. Exercise your right to petition your government. Let's restore the power of this great state to the people instead of to the politicians. I hope the House makes the right decision but if not, I look forward to a quick resolution to the Texas Senate where I truly believe that the process will be fair and just. And now, Chris Hilton, my Chief of General Litigation will discuss the information that we attempted to present very recently to the committee involved in this process. Thank you all very much.
Chris Hilton, Chief of General Litigation
The articles of impeachment laid out on the House floor yesterday are completely meritless. The claims that have been made by the general investigating committee have been thoroughly researched and debunked time and time again. These allegations have been put to the voters time and time again. But now just 150 House members are going to decide whether their judgment matters more than the millions of voters who elected Ken Paxton last November. The general investigating committee could have asked us for interviews, testimony, and documents, anything that would shed light on these allegations. If they cared about truth or about fairness or about transparency, they would have run a transparent investigation and invited us to participate. Instead, they threw us out of the committee hearing yesterday when we showed up with documents and reports that would disprove these spurious allegations. They didn't even want to hear our side of the story. The general investigating committee concocted this scheme behind closed doors, and in less than three days, we've gone from a mysterious "Matter A" being discussed in committee to a full-blown impeachment vote. And the committee and their investigators couldn't even get basic things right. The attorney general's countertops are tile, not granite. He paid for all his home repairs and renovations. He claims one homestead exemption just like every other homeowner. Why should we take the general investigating committee's word on anything when they can't even get the little things right? There's no court in America that would tolerate a process like this one. And there's no precedent in Texas history for an illegal, one-sided sham investigation like this one.
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The memorandum leaked today by the general investigating committee makes clear that they do not care at all about the fundamental right to due process. And this process is being driven by an Obama-appointed Democrat who works for the House and whose legal analysis has been a thorn in the side of serious attorneys around the Capitol for years. The flimsy justification for their actions, that this office's attempt to settle pending litigation, something that we do every day of the week is transparently a pretext. The legislature, not Ken Paxton, has always had the final word on funding that settlement, which we have repeatedly acknowledged, and which is a term of the settlement that anyone can read. Simply put, the general investigating committee should be embarrassed that they are recommending these articles for the House. The members should be insulted that they're going to be asked to take a vote on this tomorrow.
And make no mistake, this is an undemocratic and morally reprehensible attempt to overturn the will of millions of Texas voters. It is not too late for the House to do the right thing and to reject this illegal impeachment that violates Texas law, including Texas Government Code 665.081 and the prior term doctrine, which has been around for over a century in Texas case law. Texans knew about all of these allegations in the last election, and they rejected them by a margin of ten percentage points. This is wrong and the House members know it. But even if the general investigating committee and the Democrats are able to pass these articles, we look forward to working with the Texas Senate to bring all the facts to light and make clear that the voters' voices still matter in Texas. We trust that the Senate will be impartial, will value fairness, and will allow for our full participation in this process. As the Attorney General said moments ago, this is about ending the political theater and allowing the Attorney General to get back to the crucial work of fighting for Texans.