FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 16, 2023
Austin, TX – Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) makes the following comments after the Texas Senate voted to acquit Texas Attorney General Warren Kenneth Paxton, Jr. of 16 articles of Impeachment sent by the Texas House of Representatives.
“Impeachment is the penultimate act of how to resolve political discourse in American Democracy and in Texas, per our State Constitution. It is important that any such impeachment begins with the foundation of evidence that the jurors, the Texas Senate, can use to make a decision beyond a reasonable doubt to remove any elected official after a vote of the public in an election.” Senator Bettencourt stated.
“Due to the fact that the Texas House of Representatives sent the Texas Senate impeachment articles in the last week of the regular session to the Senate on very short notice, my estimation is the members of the House spent less than 10 hours listening to reports from unsworn investigators and discussing the merits of the articles before voting on the articles of impeachment. In contrast, the members of the Senate alone have spent over 700 days of members’ time developing rules, preparing for trial, listening to evidence, and casting our votes. Unlike Federal impeachments where the US House of Representatives takes evidence from witnesses under oath and allows cross examination, the Texas House avoided this key step. I agree with Lt. Governor Dan Patrick that the Texas Constitution should be amended to avoid this from happening in the future.” He added. “This is the reason why I voted in support of the motions to dismiss the articles prior to the start of the trial.” He remarked.
“All but one of the articles involved issues that occurred prior to the Attorney General’s most recent election. All of the issues were public knowledge and well documented in the Attorney General’s records, court documents, and in the media. All of the issues were well-known to the voters prior to the election and should have been dismissed prior to the Senate trial under the forgiveness doctrine which is addressed in Government Code Section 665.081,” added Senator Bettencourt.
“By a minimum of 16 votes on 16 articles, Warren Kenneth Paxton Jr. is returned to the Attorney General’s Office, the job the voters of the great State of Texas elected him to perform. I want to commend all my fellow members of the Texas Senate, our presiding officer, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, all our staffs, and participants. The Texas Senate’s long summer of dedicated service to the citizens of Texas now comes to a close, and may God bless Texas!” Concluded Senator Bettencourt.