In the latest motion filed ahead of the impeachment trial in the Senate, Attorney General Ken Paxton is calling for illegal and unsworn testimony to be thrown out.
“By impeaching Ken Paxton, the House seeks to remove the sitting Attorney General of the State of Texas, a public servant who has been repeatedly elected by the people of Texas. It has been a century since the last such effort involving a state-wide official,” the motion states. “Given the gravity of these proceedings, Texans should expect that the architects behind this impeachment would have conducted their investigation accordingly, dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s. But the opposite is true.”
Paxton’s legal team argues that unsworn testimony gathered by investigators who presented their findings to the House’s investigating committee violates the U.S. and Texas constitutions, as well as state law:
Attorney General Paxton has the right to confront witnesses against him as guaranteed by the Texas and United States Constitutions. This right requires that any witness statements taken by the Committee be under oath. The Committee failed to observe these basic constitutional tenets, and its evidence must be rejected.
Additionally, Paxton’s team says any evidence gathered as a result of the unsworn statements must be discarded as well.
Tony Buzbee, a lawyer representing Paxton, says the impeachment is based on “hearsay upon hearsay upon hearsay.”
“The House’s sham impeachment of the Attorney General is based on an illegal investigation that ignores the Constitution’s basic concepts of justice and due process. The investigation blatantly violated the Texas Government Code which expressly requires the Committee to place witnesses under oath before obtaining their testimonies,” said Buzbee.
“Yet in violation of Texas law, the Committee recommended impeachment based on third-party statements (hearsay) that were not taken under oath (hearsay upon hearsay) and subsequently summarized by House investigators (hearsay upon hearsay upon hearsay) to House Members.”
House prosecutors have not yet responded to the latest filings.
Paxton was impeached by the Texas House at the end of May on 20 disputed charges of misapplication of public resources, bribery, obstruction of justice, abuse of public trust, and disregard of official duties. This most recent motion comes after Paxton moved to have 19 of the 20 charges dismissed earlier this week.
The Senate trial is slated to begin on September 5.