Texas’ top lawyer says House Speaker Dade Phelan needs to resign after being in a state of “apparent debilitating intoxication” while presiding over the House.
Attorney General Ken Paxton made the announcement in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.
“After much consideration, it is with profound disappointment that I call on Speaker Dade Phelan to resign at the end of this legislative session. Texans were dismayed to witness his performance presiding over the Texas House in a state of apparent debilitating intoxication,” said Paxton.
His comments are in reference to a viral video that circulated on social media over the weekend showing Phelan slurring words and acting in a manner that some allege is consistent with intoxication.
This is video from last night in the Texas House of Representatives where it appears that TX House Speaker Dade Phelan is either really drunk or having a stroke. pic.twitter.com/dbSG7AO30r
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) May 20, 2023
“His conduct has negatively impacted the legislative process and constitutes a failure to live up to his duty to the public. Texans were relying on the House to pass critical conservative priorities including protecting the integrity of our elections and preventing Chinese spies from controlling Texas land,” Paxton continued. “His failures as Speaker have created a credibility crisis for all Republican candidates and for our entire Party. While I hope Speaker Phelan will get the help he needs, he has proven himself unworthy of Texans’ trust and incapable of leading the Texas House.”
In addition to the statement, Paxton sent a letter to State Rep. Andrew Murr (R–Kerrville), who chairs the House General Investigating Committee, to open up an investigation into Phelan for “violation of House rules, state law, and for conduct unbecoming of his position.”
As of publishing, Phelan’s office did not respond to our request for comment.
Paxton’s call for Phelan’s resignation comes on the eve of a public meeting of the Investigating Committee concerning the firing of a set of whistleblowers from the Attorney General’s office in 2020.