Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is ramping up his criticism of House Speaker Dade Phelan for failing to comply with a requested audit of the cost of the chamber’s impeachment of Attorney General Ken Paxton. 

An audit of both chambers’ expenses was requested after the trial by Patrick. While open records requests revealed a cost of at least $4.3 million by the House, they have so far not complied with the audit. 

“The Audit Committee is joint-chaired by myself and Dade Phelan and is made up of two members of the Senate and two members of the House. Anyone can request an audit, and it’s up to the Audit Committee to approve or object to proposals. In this case, I made a request to audit all impeachment spending by the entire legislature, both the Senate and House,” Patrick told Texas Scorecard. “Per routine protocol, when audit requests are made, the State Auditor notifies both Audit Committee chairs, and if there is no objection, the State Auditor moves forward with the audit. Dade and his office were notified in writing and have never objected to the audit.”

Patrick says Phelan may be avoiding providing the numbers because they may amount to much more than currently known:

Dade has a problem because if he formally objects to the audit, he would be admitting he doesn’t want Texans to know how much of their money he frivolously spent on the impeachment, an impeachment which three of the House’s most experienced lawyers, Rep. John Smithee, R-Amarillo, Rep. Travis Clardy, R-Nacogdoges, and Rep. Harold Dutton, D-Houston, said should not have been brought forward due to the deeply flawed process.

Dade has no problem with audits of any other state agency’s spending, but when it’s the House being audited, Dade throws transparency out the window and refuses to show his total spending, claiming I have no right to ask for it. That is nonsense. Of course I do, and so do the people of Texas. Dade’s modus operandi is always to blame someone else for his failures of leadership.

The Senate turned over our impeachment costs before the State Auditor’s deadline, roughly $435,000, while Dade, who has yet to object to the audit officially, has never turned over anything. What’s he embarrassed about? What’s he hiding?

The only information the public has from the House is what the media extracted under the public information laws, which shows that the House spent nearly $4 million on some of their attorneys. No one knows how much of taxpayer money Dade spent on the sham impeachment.

If I had never asked for the audit, Dade should have released every dollar of the impeachment spending on his own. Guess what, Dade … IT’S THE RIGHT THING TO DO!

At this point, he is no better than Hunter Biden. Slippery Dade’s intentions are clear: hide the actual cost of the impeachment from the public. I will not let this go away. Texas taxpayers must know how much Dade’s failed political gambit cost them. Texans deserve the truth.

Phelan did not respond to a request for comment. 

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens