Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is calling out Texas House leadership for dragging their feet on providing the costs in their impeachment trial against him.
An audit of both chambers’ expenses was requested after the trial by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
In a letter to state auditor Lisa Collier, Patrick asked for all expenditures incurred by the Texas House of Representatives, the Texas Senate, and the Office of the Attorney General from March 1, 2023 through October 15, 2023.
“To be clear, the goal is to determine the absolute total cost to the state of preparing for and conducting this trial from the beginning through its conclusion,” wrote Patrick. “This must detail all expenses, including but not limited to, investigators expenses, document production and assembly, attorney expenses, witness fees, travel, food and lodging. This list is illustrative, not exhaustive. Please determine and report on all expenses; if there are invoices outstanding, we seek to know what they are and when they will be received.”
According to Paxton, the House has yet to provide its expenses for the audit.
“Where are the records for the cost to taxpayers for the sham impeachment? Taxpayers deserve to know,” Paxton wrote in a post on X on Saturday. “When will the cover-up end? The Senate and the AG’s office have turned over their records. Today is Day 57 since Dan Patrick asked for the audit. The House is refusing to turn the records over. Where are they?”
The House hired prominent Houston attorneys Dick DeGuerin and Rusty Hardin to lead the prosecution, at the cost of $500 an hour to taxpayers, along with a group of other lawyers providing legal assistance.
House Speaker Dade Phelan’s office did not return a request for comment on the status of the audit. Last month, State Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R–Arlington) attempted to ask Phelan why the chamber was not providing those numbers, but was not given a response.