The impeachment of Attorney General Ken Paxton cost Texas taxpayers over $4.3 million, with some expenses still outstanding.

That’s according to a report from the Dallas Morning News, who received records from the Texas House revealing a team of over 24 lawyers billed the House more than 7,800 hours of work related to the trial.

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.

According to the DMN report, “Hardin used at least 20 employees of his firm and billed $3 million. DeGuerin and another attorney in his firm billed about $470,000.”

More expenses are still outstanding.

Already, the $4.3 million price tag exceeds the $3.3 million cost of the settlement the Attorney General’s office had reached with a group of former employees, who claimed they were fired unfairly, to avoid further litigation.

House Speaker Dade Phelan said that settlement—which was not approved by the House—was the impetus for the House’s impeachment of Paxton.

The records also include thousands of dollars paid to New West Communications, a public relations firm, before and after the trial.

An audit of both chambers’ expenses was requested after the trial by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

While the Senate and the Office of the Attorney General have provided those numbers, the House has been slow to do so.

Attorney General Paxton says the latest report is “just the tip of the iceberg.”

“Whether it’s the House costs, Senate costs or the overall impeachment session costs, many millions more were incurred on Dade Phelan’s sham and needless impeachment,” Paxton told Texas Scorecard. “Further, Dade, Burrows, and the liberal Republican House leaders have proved they excel at spending what some believe could be $25 million in taxpayer dollars for multiple special sessions that have resulted in the House FAILING to produce results. All of this is due to Dade’s ineffective leadership and unwillingness to govern like a conservative.”

“Voters need to send Dade and any representative supporting Dade home in the upcoming primaries. We need effective leadership in the House that quits embarrassing Texas and is focused on making Texas a beacon of freedom enterprise and opportunity,” he added.

Patrick noted that the House has still not turned in their full spending report to the state auditor.

“Now, it is clear that the Senate protected taxpayer money while Dade Phelan and the House spent like drunken sailors on shore leave,” said Patrick. “The House’s high-priced army of lawyers could not prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt and failed miserably at Texas taxpayers’ expense. Now, Dade Phelan and his expensive lawyers continue to cry because they can’t admit they received a fair trial and were simply defeated. At this point, it’s the same old song and dance from Dade Phelan: more lame excuses, more blame game, no accountability.”

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