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Welcome to the Luke Macias Show sine die is upon us, meaning the end of the legislative session. So much has still been left undone and a special session is guaranteed to occur, we did get a couple of key victories across the finish line at the very end and then Dade Phelan decided to set a very dangerous precedent with the impeachment of Ken Paxton. And we’re going to talk about that, as well as policy victories and things that are left undone that are likely to be debated in a special session. All that today. Let’s get to the show.
So let’s start on a positive note. I talked to you about Senate Bill 17. A couple of weeks ago, this is the DEI bill that passed the Senate very strong ban on dei hiring practices policies. At our university level, it also gets rid of the DEI offices. These are hundreds of full time employees whose job it is to literally spread more Marxism throughout our universities. So Senator Brandon Creighton passed a very strong bill, one of the strongest in the nation out of the Texas Senate and went to the house got completely gutted in committee and then came to the floor and then on the floor, the house conservatives put back in language that strengthened it to the point of where it looked more like what the Senate had passed against the will of House leadership. But then leadership tacked on a little gift to the Democrats at the end. Not a surprise for those of us who are used to watching House leadership operate. But what did it do? It basically said that employees, all these di employees, the worst of the worst on our college campuses, of which by the way, they have a lot of bad employees, but the worst of the worst need to be offered a job to continue to work at our colleges. Well, the Senate went to conference after a whole lot of conservatives came out Scott yener, who’s a leading voice who we’ve interviewed on this program before came out. Chris Ruffo came out who’s probably the leading dei voice and said the Texas House put unforgivable language in this bill. I can’t remember the exact words he used. But he basically said this is unacceptable. It cannot stand the Senate has to fight to change this. And they went to conference and they were able to significantly watered down the compromised Democrat gift of an amendment that House leadership gave. So yet again, the Senate comes to kind of our rescue, giving us a last minute victory. Also, the conference committees that met agreed upon language on Senate Bill 12, which is a ban on the sexual performances in the midst of shelter. This is also yet another big victory for Republicans that they can bank as a victory that happened because conservative grassroots Texans stood up and said, You are not allowed to kill these key conservative policies and the Texas House was forced to take action, even though they dragged their feet for four months. We got it across the finish line, huge victory. There are a number of other key victories. hB 900 was a victory that we got out again, the Texas Senate took the one of the few things that the House passed first, and actually got it across. I don’t even know if they passed it first. Angela Paxson did pass a bill over even before that, but they took up Jared Patterson’s legislation and moved it through the process and got it across the finish line. So there were a couple of very key victories here in the final moments of the session. And then what what surprised a whole lot of people including almost the entire legislature, it didn’t surprise House leadership, meaning Dade feeling maybe 678 other state representatives, but other than them. The rest of the state of Texas did not intend for the legislature to debate the impeachment of Attorney General Ken Paxton. This set a very dangerous precedent. It is very concerning. I’m not actually going to talk about it a ton, because we’re actually going to close out today’s show with Representative John Smithies speech. Now many representatives spoke out against this representative Travis Clardy, who’s actually one of the more liberal Republicans in the legislature, Representative Harold Dutton, who’s actually the second most senior Democrat voted present not voting, and got up and clearly articulated a lot of concerns with this entire process. Representatives Brian Harrison, Matt Schaefer, Steve Toth, Tony Tinder hold all got up and shared massive concerns with this process. Nate Schatz line asked a number of questions. So we could fill up this entire program with all that was said and much was said that was very beneficial for Texans to be aware of. If you want to go to my Twitter, you can To watch or listen to all the speeches that were given, I’ve posted I think all almost all of them. Mike Schofield is a representative from Houston, who got up and gave a very eloquent articulation of why this impeachment was a problem. But I’ll explain at the end, why I selected representative Smithies speech for something that you should hear. I went up to the Capitol during this impeachment proceeding on Saturday. And I will tell you, I had basically set this expectation with my wife and my kids, I’ve been gone three to four to five days a week for the last almost a month and a half, it feels like in this last part of session for two months, and I had told them, hey, the good news is that last week of session, once we’re kind of towards the end of the week, I get to come home and that weekend, it’ll be slow. And we’ll get to spend time together, and it’s going to be a great, great deal. But that was not the case. So I had to go up to the capitol and be there. Honestly, it was historic. We have only ever impeached a state official in Texas, a statewide official once since 1875. Like that is crazy. Remarkable. Astonishing. And again, I think representative smithy will do an even better job than I would be able to to explain the massive concerns and why 23 Republicans courageously stood up and said, We’re not going along with this charade. We’re not going along with this sham of an impeachment. We are not going to, as representative Harrison said the impeachment process should be unimpeachable itself. And this was not that. I will let representative smithy enlighten y’all even further on that. But it what it is worth saying that this has, I think, caused more energy to be infused into conservative Texans than I have seen maybe since the Tea Party wave in 2010. I’ve never seen this many conservative activist saying I am done with the Texas legislature’s gains. They killed a ban on critical race theory. They messed around with property tax relief, they killed legislation that would help D transitioners. actually sue these people that have massively abused their bodies. They killed legislation that would ban China from being able to purchase Texas Land, they killed a ban on COVID vaccine mandates. So you can still in Texas get fired for not getting fouled cheese concoction, that he basically said every single one of you need to comply and get in line and then he use these businesses as enforcement mechanisms to say you get this shot or you can’t feed your family. The Texas Senate said you shouldn’t be able to do that the Texas House sat on that legislation. Representative click played games with that legislation. Representative burrows played games of that legislation. It was a coordinated effort. And we remember I’ve done episodes on this where Stephanie click Dustin burrows and Dadeville and they teamed up last time to kill the ban on gender modification. And this year, they teamed up to kill the venom COVID vaccine mandates. I don’t know what it is about that trio. But they seem to every session get one or two things that they just kind of sit on. A representative click sat on a lot of other Republican policy as well in her committee. Why? I don’t know these guys can’t help themselves. When it comes to the impeachment of Ken Paxton. I do want to at least read for y’all what Ted Cruz said because he said this right before the Texas House really convened their little sham of an impeachment. He said what’s happening to Ken Paxton is a travesty tweeted this out at 1050 to the day of this impeachment. For the last nine years Ken has been the strongest conservative Ag in the country. Bar none. No Attorney General has battled the abuses of the Biden ministration more ferociously and more effectively, then has Paxton that’s why the swamp in Austin wants him out. The special interests don’t want a steadfast conservative Attorney General. I understand that people are concerned about Ken’s legal challenges, but the courts should sort them out. Virtually all the information in the articles were public before Election Day, and the voters chose to reelect Ken Paxton by a large margin. In my view, the Texas legislature should respect the choice of Texas voters this is Senator Cruz saying elected state representatives are not in a position they are not sent there to overturn elections. That’s not your job. Your job is not to overturn elections. If the people choose someone who’s not aligned with your agenda with your values. Who’s too conservative for your legislative body. But House leadership when they want something, they flex Dade feel and only cast a handful of votes this session. What happens with that speaker is he just sits there and lets the vote take place. But less than half a dozen times he says, show the speaker voting aye.
And there are powerful words in that chamber. It is a signal to the entire legislative body. If you vote wrong on this, I could come for you if you vote wrong on this. I will remember when we get to next session, I’m handing out committee assignments. If you vote wrong on this, maybe don’t expect my support for your reelection campaign. That’s what show the speaker voting I means. And on this debate, even when some liberal more liberal Republicans long serving Republicans, conservative Republicans, even one of the most senior Democrats in the legislature, stand up. The speaker knew I have to flex right now to keep as many Republicans voting with me as possible. More Democrats voted to impeach Ken Paxton, the Republicans. That tells you something more Democrats voted to impeach Ken Paxton than Republicans. I also want to say one other thing on it. No one should be impeached. The way Ken Paxton was impeached in the Texas House. This isn’t about Ken Paxton. No one should be impeached the way Ken Paxton was impeached in the Texas House. No district judge, no state representative. No state senator, no statewide elected official. If Beto O’Rourke was governor of Texas, he should not be impeached the way Ken Paxton was impeached. John smithy will bring some of this more to light. Why I think that but I’m just telling you guys. In case you’re wondering, this isn’t about just the person. Now I can say that Ken Paxton is one of the most conservative attorney generals in the country. But this is about the reality that what was done in the Texas House should insult every single Texan. And then the question is, if the whole thing stinks, and should insult any Texan who actually believes in the rule of law, and the deliberative process, somebody who should be most offended? And I’ll tell you, conservatives, because it’s actually an assault and an attack on you. They can’t stand the fact that conservatives actually have statewide lawmakers that are responsive to them. And any of them that are Dan Patrick, Ken Paxton, Sid Miller, John divide. John Devine is the most conservative Supreme Court Justice that we have in this state, and he is going to have a primary. Why? Because the moderate establishment legal wing of the party doesn’t like the fact that John Devine is consistently the most conservative justice on the court. Why was Sid Miller primary deneuve’s Last primary? And why did Texans for lawsuit reform and a bunch of other moderate groups all fund his opponent and other moderate donors? Because they can’t stand that conservatives have a statewide elected official and Sid Miller, who’s actually responsive to the grassroots? Why are they coming after Ken Paxton, why do they belittle Dan Patrick so much? Because it’s actually an attack on each and every one of us. So the two things to remember is one, no one should be impeached the way Ken Paxton was impeached, not the most liberal Democrat in the Texas Legislature, period. And two, if the whole state of Texas should honestly be quite insulted and concerned by how this was done, the people who should be most concerned, most insulted should be those who are among the actual conservatives in the Republican Party of Texas. The Republican Party of Texas Chairman Matt Rinaldi, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, all came out and said this is horrifically bad. Why do you think these state elected officials criticize Matt Rinaldi so much? Because he actually represents the grassroots in the state. He actually represents what all of those delegates go to the convention every two years and fight to accomplish and they can’t stand it. So in the last week of session, they decided Let’s whip up everybody up and force this through. And they knew that we have total control over most of these legislators, they’re kind of fall in line. Even some that claim to be really conservative, they’re all enough of them are going to fall in line to in just a minute, I want to actually talk to you about a poll that the defend Texas Liberty pack just released about Dave feeling in his own district. And guys, it’s crazy. But before that, I want to talk to you real quick, about the Texas minute podcast. If you listen to podcasts regularly, a lot of them are longer. A lot of people tell me they actually enjoy the fact that this show generally is under 30 minutes. That’s what we try to come to you with. But we are going to be coming to you through the summer now for a special session start to might come to you a little more frequently during the special session and come with a couple of special episodes. But we are going to be going back to our once a week frequency. And so for those of you who still want a little bit of information on Texas politics, you need to just subscribe to the Texas minute podcast. Okay, the Texas minute podcast is every single day. And if you don’t get the newsletter, you should go to Texas scorecard and sign up for the Texas minute newsletter. It is absolutely the most talked about thing when it comes to when I’m around the state talking to Republican groups. What I get talked about is the Texas minute newsletter, and some people read it and now some people are listening to it. And so however you want to get that information every single day if you want to know Hey, what are the top two or three stories? Sign up for the Texas minute newsletter via email, subscribe to the Texas minute podcast and just get that quick hit of information. Michael Sullivan usually brings it Brandon Waltons is bringing it right now because Michaels actually traveling a little bit. 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So the defend Texas Liberty pack did a poll and I helped run the defend Texas Liberty pack with Jonathan Stickland, who’s a former legislator, one of the most conservative legislators in Texas history. And so he runs the defend Texas Liberty pack and I helped run it with him. And we did an interesting project and just released a poll and date fields district and I want to talk to you about what the numbers show. I have never seen this done in a speaker’s district honestly in any lawmakers district. But we actually went in in January and polled speaker feelings district and then came in in May and pulled this district asking the same questions. We wanted to know scientifically. What does the legislative session do to a speaker. Now we anticipated at the time as a pack that Dave vielen would more than likely probably team up with Democrats and do some things that weren’t so good. So the question was, if he does do that, what do voters think? And if he actually decides to be a strong Republican and fight for conservative values, what does that do to them as well? People saw that with Speaker McCarthy when Kevin McCarthy actually started pushing back and being more conservative, you saw his popularity climb every single month. He’s way more popular than even Joe Biden, people have given him more credit on some of these debt ceiling issues in negotiations. Now, the sad thing is, and I think what you’re gonna see is that since speaker McCarthy is now looking at cutting a bad deal, basically falling back into the Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, John Boehner broken methodology of former Republican leaders, McCarthy is likely to start declining within General like Republican opinion of him, but he has been climbing for the last six months, because he’s been consistently pushing more conservative things. So the idea was going in January GoAnimate. Let’s see what the legislative session does to Speaker feelings. So in January when we looked at speaker feelings district, and you can see this on Texas scorecard. They actually released this story first, but Texas scorecard released the story you can literally read the January poll read the maypole. What does it say? In January 60% of date feelings constituents, his Republican voters, his Republican constituents 60% of them said they had a favorable opinion of him. Okay, that’s actually pretty good. That basically I would say makes you a pretty popular incumbent Republican official. Okay. And then we asked a question, we said if the 2024 Republican primary were held today, would you vote for Speaker feeling a more conservative candidate, or Are you unsure? And the reason for this is basically, anybody who would run against state feeling would run to the right of date feeling no liberal is going to step in and go, Hey, he’s cuttin not enough deals with Democrats, right? He hasn’t had enough Democrat chairs the guy who is allied with Democrats in so many ways, so if anybody runs against him, it would be from the right so he said, Hey, Dadeville in a more conservative candidate, or are you don’t know what you would do? 40% of voters said they’d vote for Dade feeling. That’s basically a hard reelect number. Even if there’s somebody does, right. I’m with this guy. 34%, at the time in January, said, Hey, I’d vote for a more conservative candidate. The rest said they didn’t know. So again, six out of 10 voters like the guy four out of 10 voters say I’m with them ride or die. I’m sticking with Dade. So that kind of tells you again, I wouldn’t say that is the strongest number for the speaker. Even at the start of session. He didn’t really start with a ton of wiggle room as far as a hard reelect goes. But that’s where he was at. So then the question is, Where did things go? From January to May? So literally, this poll was conducted in the final week of the legislative session. And it says that today, the same demographic, Republican primary voters in day feelings district, what do you think of Dade, he went from 60% of them saying we have a favorable opinion of him to only 35% of voters saying they have a favorable opinion of the sitting Speaker of the House who’s also their state representative. That is really bad. Okay, that is really bad. At the time when we pulled it in January, only 10% of voters had an unfavorable 4%, very unfavorable. 6% Somewhat unfavorable. So one in 10, or like, we don’t like date, that’s in January. Today. That number is 29% 29%. Almost 30% are like, Yeah, we don’t even like this guy. Almost as many people say we don’t like our current state rep as say they like. And then you say, hey, if the election were held today, who would you vote for date feeling more conservative candidate or you’re unsure 24% Dade feeling 48% double that number, a more conservative candidate and 29% unsure. That is crazy. And that is credited to all of the conservatives that are constantly talking to Texans telling them what’s going on. If conservative organizations didn’t exist, that were willing to boldly talk to actual Texas voters, then this wouldn’t happen if the Texas family project wasn’t willing to actually go into date fields district and buy television ads and text messages and all this stuff to go tell his voters, hey, he’s holding up all this pro family legislation, then people wouldn’t even know what was happening. These incumbents for far too long had been able to get away with just going into session, cutting all these deals, doing all this bad stuff, and then going back to the voters and telling them the three or four best things they did, and keeping them all asleep. That’s not working anymore. Thank God. This is why we should be encouraged. So I know I’m gonna, I’m gonna end the show with this speech of representative Smithy. But I want you to also be encouraged that if you’ve if you’ve joined up with one of these great conservative groups, Texas for strong borders, Texans for vaccine choice Texas family project, Texas for fiscal response, all these organizations Texas for fiscal responsibility is doing stuff on the budget and property tax relief. If you’re teaming up with organizations and helping grow, what’s happening, the true Texas project if you’ve joined one of those or one of these other conservative organizations in your backyard, if you’re a precinct chairman, that’s actually now serving and using the Republican Party of Texas as a mechanism to push these issues. If you’re supporting the Republican Party of Texas and Matt Rinaldi, what they’re doing, know that everything that everyone is together, working and pushing is having an effect. And it’s actually getting down to the normal Republican. But if we stop, it will stop, the momentum will stop. And here’s what you need to know, Dave feeling is going to go home to his district and drop a million dollars in the next three or four months. He’s going to spend so much money telling them no, I swear, I did all this conservative stuff, and we’ll all watch it happen. And if we see it, I’ll come to you and tell you what’s going on. But this is what all of them are gonna go do. And they’re gonna raise all this money from their Austin lobbyists. This is why they killed taxpayer funded lobbying. They needed all that money to continue to flow into their campaign accounts so that they can continue to lie to as many voters as possible. But voters are waking up way more than they’ve ever woken up before. Very encouraging. So in closing, we are going to go to a speech by Representative John smithy and I am going to encourage you to listen to the entire thing. It’s 19 minutes long. I’m just telling you, it’s 19 minutes long. John Smith, he is the second longest serving Republican member of the Texas House at the end of this term. He will have been in the legislature for 40 years. We haven’t talked to you about John smithy before on the show. I don’t know if his name has ever come up on this show. That’s not because he’s a bad person. It’s because having been there for so long, he is very slow to engage openly He actively and publicly on battles. He’s a longtime operator of the Capitol. He serves on the state affairs committee. His seniority basically gives him the ability to get on whatever committee he wants to be on, except for like calendars, which is just reserved for Speaker lackeys. But John Smith, he got up and laid out not only why the ken Paxton impeachment is so concerning, but he laid it out from the perspective of somebody who actually cares about what the Texas House is, as an institution. He’s not just trying to win a political battle. For one person or one side, he actually cares. He’s been there for four decades, serving the Texas House, serving his constituents in the Texas House, he knows what the institution has looked like, and what it looks like today. And what he shares, I think is a very helpful and informative perspective. I think you will hear the type of speeches that would benefit us more if they were given on the House floor speeches, that seems to be given from a perspective, that cares far more about just the issue before us. But all of the implications of not only what this will do, but what will it do 10 years and 20 and 30 and 40 years from now a perspective of a conservative who’s trying to conserve something. So with that, let’s go to this speech. The Chair recognizes Mr. Smith.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker and members. And I assure you, I’m not gonna take 30 minutes. But let me tell you, first of all, I’m not here today to tell you that general Paxton should not be impeached. That’s That’s not why I’m here. Bottom line is I don’t know whether he should or not, because I don’t have the evidence before me to make that determination. All I’m telling you is, this house cannot legitimately and in good faith, and under the rule of law, impeach general Paxton today on the record that it has before it. I’m not here to defend Ken Paxton, that’s not my job. I’ll leave that to someone else. But I’m here to defend two things that are precious to me. One is the rule of law. And the other is the integrity of the Texas House of Representatives of which I’ve given a good part, the best part of my adult life. What we’re doing here today is very important. You’ve heard that it’s a very sober and somber experience, and it process and it should be. And there’s three reasons for that you’ve heard. And I’ve heard conversation on the floor from members. And we’ve heard a bit of this today. This is only like a grand jury. We don’t need to adjudicate guilt or innocence. And that’s true. But this house historically and with its precedent, has always applied a higher standard to this these proceedings, and it has to a typical grand jury. The house has always been concerned about due process and constitutional rights, and above all, the fairness that goes with a process such as this. And there are three reasons for that three, very, in my opinion, very compelling reasons. The first is that our consequences that our actions today have an immediate consequence. If we vote to impeach today. As soon as we do that, then general Paxton will be automatically automatically relieved of his duties, he will no longer function as Attorney General in the state of Texas. It’s what I call the hang on now and judge them later policy. The consequences of our impeachment is that he will be removed from the responsibilities of his office, even though his guilt or innocence had not has not yet been adjudicated. The second reason that with the house has always insisted on a complete record, which we have no record before us, no record no report before us. But the second reason is, it is our responsibility for to provide a record upon which the Senate can make its adjudication of guilt or innocence. Yes, they will have a trial there. But the basis for that trial is the record that we prepare here in the house, and there is no record to send to the Senate. The third reason and to me this is extremely important and that is just as we should be, but are not looking at precedents of the Texas House. future legislatures should and probably will be looking at this precedent. We do not need to be relaxing the due process And the fairness concerns when we go home these important important when we go home, we’ll have to defend each one of us as members will have to defend not only the final result that we reached today and the way we vote, but we’ll also have to defend the process by which this determination was made and members of the House. To me this process is indefensible. It’s absolutely indefensible, not to be critical or anyone. But when you look at the precedent that has precedent is so important. I recently argued a case in the Supreme Court of Texas. And our argument was that precedent matters. And as the Court pointed out, in both its majority and concurring opinions, it said that precedent is important for two reasons. One is because of predictability, and the other is stability, stability, and predictability. That’s important in the law, and it’s important in house and senate procedure. Now, we, as we approach this today, we basically have two prior impeachment proceedings and one that began as an impeachment proceeding, actually two that began that are instructive for us. The first one has been mentioned, it’s the 1917 impeachment of Governor Ferguson. And in that there are several things that are very instructive historically that occurred, in that in that, in that particular impeachment. First, the house has always always adopted rules in advance of, and they have always authorized the investigation in to the public official. That way it is done out in public, it is done in with the antiseptic of sunlight. This was not done that way. But rules are adopted in advance, we received any of the small rules that we have less than a few hours ago, the rules were made up as we went in this process. And that’s not the way it should be. One of the things that the rules have always required since 1917. Again, in 1929, in the rot in the boarded Robinson, Land Commissioner impeachment and again in 1975, in the kareoke impeachment, one thing that the legislature has always insisted on is that the Proceed proceedings be done in public that the public have access the public have knowledge. Now, I think it’s ironic that we’re conducting this hearing. Today, we’re doing this determination today, during a through a holiday weekend, when most of our constituents are busy doing what you should be doing on Memorial Day weekend. And that’s memorializing those who have given it all given all for this country, or else their family spending time with their family. They’re not concerned about this. It’s like dumping information late on a Friday afternoon of a new cycle, we should be doing this in the Open Daylight, we should be doing it not with 48 hours notice, we actually had less than 24 hours notice that we were going to do this today, we should be doing this with full notice and full opportunity for the public to participate not directly in the House chamber, but to watch and to attend, if they choose to do that. And we shouldn’t do it on a holiday weekend. We’ve always had the public involved throughout the process in the hearings, the committee hearings and all throughout the process. Another thing that they did in 1917 that they’ve done continuously since then, they have always said that the accused, in this case, general Paxton had the right to be represented by counsel during the proceedings. There is no indication in the record that general Paxton was ever afforded that opportunity. Number three since 1917, in all of the intervening impeachment proceeding since then, counsel for the for the accused has been permitted the opportunity to cross examine the witnesses. And that never occurred because no witnesses were ever examined. In this case, not one witness was ever examined by the committee, not one fact witness who knew anything about anything was examined in the committee. Do you know how it worked?
They had these investigators, these kinds of anonymous and we know their names, we can know a little bit about and these these investigators, they came and spoke to the committee from the record that I’ve been able to uncover and I confirmed this with mustard Mr. Mer, they were not even required to sign witness affirmation statements before the committee. Now we require witness affirmation statements when somebody testifies before on behalf of a local or or an uncontested bill, but we didn’t require it in this instance. And once you’ve heard and what’s in this report is not one shred of evidence. You’re all familiar with the term hearsay but once you have in This case is triple hearsay in most cases, it is hearsay within hearsay within hearsay. You could no prosecutor would ever try to get a grand jury indictment based solely on hearsay within hearsay within hearsay. No jury would ever convict no civil jury could ever award judgment or enter a verdict based on the evidence that’s before this house today. And so that’s another thing. There was no no no ability for not for counsel for Mr. Paxton to cross examine, and there was no opportunity for anyone to cross examine. In 1917, the house determined that the impeachment proceeding would be conducted as a trial with all of the due process requirements in place normally given now, that’s not all. That’s not the case with Grand Jury proceedings. But the house was convinced that it wanted to go the extra mile in providing fairness, and notice. And so it was conducted as a trial. And one other thing that applies to every impeachment that has ever been done in the Texas House of Representatives, has been that all evidence must meet the standard required under the Texas rules of evidence. And I will tell you, there is not one word, not one Senate’s in the testimony before you that would be admissible in any Texas court of law, under the Texas rules of evidence, it is hearsay, within hearsay, within hearsay. Here’s something else getting your country is troubling. In a court of law, some of you have testified you’re sworn under oath. You aren’t you testify under oath, that on your honor that you will tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help your God. Okay. And if you don’t do that, and it is later found out you are subject to charges for perjury, and because of that limitation, most people not all people, but most people tell the truth when they’re giving official testimony. It concerns me and I hope it concerns you that in this case, not one not in this impeachment proceeding. Not one witness was put under oath, not the investigators who testified what Person A testified that person B told them. Person A was never put on oath, under oath. Person B was never put under oath. No one was put under oath. And so he you have all these things that amount to accusations, but not testimony and certainly not evidence. And that concerns me It concerns me a lot. Because today, it could be general Paxton tomorrow, it could be you and the next day, it could be me. We are fundamental rights of due process are so important to every one of us. And they’re important to preserving the Republic that we have. Now one other thing that as I said the testimony was has always in the Texas House, any testimony used to convict any someone to impeach someone has always been under oath with penalty of perjury. And another thing that has always been done and we’re breaking precedent in that regard, is counsel for the accused has always been permitted to attend within the House chamber, the open chamber the house to represent the accused, members of the of the of the House have always been given the opportunity even though they will not partake on the canal. You’re not served on the committee. They have been given the opportunity to submit written questions to be asked of the witnesses that never ever occurred, in this case. So So in 1917, you had rules adopted in advance so everybody knew what the rules were. You had the public involved in the proceedings, you had the accused with a right to be represented by counsel, you had the right to cross examination, it was conducted like a trial evidence was was admissible. And all testimony was given under oath. That was what due process and fairness looked like in the Texas House of Representatives in 1917. And in my opinion, that’s what due process and fairness should still look like today, not only in the Texas House of Representatives, but everywhere. Let’s talk a minute about the 1975 impeachment proceeding involving judge Opie Korea, two members of our house were present for that. Speaker kradic And Representative Thompson were were both present for that the the author many of you know it was the was Terry Canalis. Senior who was and I believe Mr. Bryant was present it at that time too. But Terry canal is senior was the author of the the impeachment resolution, but it’s very instructive what happened in 2019. 75 Because at the beginning of the proceeding, Mr. Judge Karela curio was notified that there was an impeachment proceeding investigation pending. And the House Select Committee sent this notice directly to judge Korea by by by telegram. They said, You are invited to be present in person or by an attorney. Any evidence you care to present bearing on the inquiry will be welcomed. The principal function of this committee is to develop facts, and your assistance in this endeavor will be appreciated. And so the accused was told if you’ve got any evidence, anything you want us to know, anything you want us to that might that might be used to exculpatory your guilt. In this case, we want to see it because we want to be fair, and we want due process. And so that’s what fairness that’s what due process looked like in the Texas House in 1975. And that’s the way it should still look. We’ve we’ve learned from the record and from talking to some of the committee members, members that just general Paxton was never notified of these proceedings. He was never invited, much less allowed to provide any material any evidence or any testimony that might in any way be exculpatory toward his guilt. That is not fairness. That is not due process. That is the not the way that things should be done.
A couple other words, a couple of other words about the Korea impeachment proceeding. Their neighbors, then were allowed to submit questions, all members were involved were allowed to submit questions to all of the witnesses, they actually had witnesses. In that case, there were 32 witnesses. As a matter of fact, all witness is the who testified were testifying based on personal knowledge, not one in this case, based on personal knowledge. And they testified under oath for approximately 70 hours of testimony before the House committee that considered impeachment in that situation. They accumulated 15 volumes of testimony. They had 170 documents in evidence. What we have is a we don’t have a report, we’ve always had a report, there’s no report, there is a transcript and it is 170 pages somewhere in that range. 100. It’s, it’s thin, it’s just 170 pages, not one document in that in that case. 170 documents were submitted as part of the report and evidence. In this case, although multiple documents are referred to as being highly in criminal Ettore, to the general Paxton are referred to in the report, not one of those documents has been provided the house and not one is attached to any report that’s been provided to the house. And so you have that matter of due process. It’s like in 2000, in 1975, the house embarked on a slow and deliberative process, they invite they invited the accused to attend and present any evidence that might bear on his innocence. And they gave the opportunity for cross examination by the Council for for the accused. And that was what due process and fairness looked like in 1975 in the Texas House and is what it should look like here today. You know, Members, I’m I’m aware that there are certain members in this house certain people in this chamber who want to get rid of general Paxton for whatever reason, in the worst possible way. And I’m here to tell you that what we are doing is absolutely the worst possible way. There’s a right way to do things and there’s a wrong way to do things. If you want to do this the right way. What we should do is vote no. On the resolution today. If you want to we can come back as a committee and do this the right way. And the right way would be to ask witnesses. We have subpoena power, we can compel these witnesses who supposedly have factual knowledge, we can compel them to come in testify under oath with opportunity for cross examination, we can notify the attorney general, we can subpoena documents, we can allow the attorney general to appear and present any exculpatory material that he might have, and we can do it the right way. And the committee can do that. While we’re after we have adjourned the session we can be called back for a one day hearing to consider a real record. That gives us a sufficient basis. You’ve heard this. You’ve heard this compared to a grand jury proceeding. And in some ways, it’s like a grand jury proceeding and in other ways It is not. But I can tell you this that no grand jury can can legitimately indict any individual, any past potential criminal defendant without evidence. You can’t indict without evidence period. And what you’re being asked to do today is to impeach without evidence. It is all rumor. It is all innuendo it is all speculation is all things that we may speculate to be true. But we don’t have what is defined or what qualifies as evidence in any court of law, not only in Texas, not only in the United States, but in most developed countries in the world. And so, I would just say this that I want to be if I’m ever going to be in part of any impeachment proceeding that actually results in the impeachment of an officer. I don’t want it to look like a Saturday mob out for an afternoon lynching. I want it to look like a clear, deliberative, somber and sober exercise in the quasar judicial function that the Constitution gives us the right to engage in. Members. Thank you so much for your attention today. I appreciate the time you’ve given me. The Chair recognizes Mr. Tendo.
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