Attorney General Ken Paxton has returned to work following more than three months of leave after being impeached by the Texas House.

He was acquitted on all charges by a majority of state senators, with only two Republicans—Kelly Hancock (North Richland Hills) and Robert Nichols (Jacksonville)—voting to convict.

Now, Paxton told Texas Scorecard, he’s excited to continue serving Texans.

It’s been hard to sit on the sidelines for four months and watch things happen and not have the ability to go impact them. That’s what I ran for.

He said that ultimately, the blame rests with House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) and the Democrats who run the House.

Despite the Republican majority in the Texas House, Paxton said the Democrats have figured out how to work the situation to their advantage. He pointed out how their conversion of a handful of liberal Republicans to vote for their speaker candidate then allows them power in the House.

That speaker—who’s really controlled by the Democrats—only needs 10 Republican votes, and then the Democrats effectively control [the House].

Paxton warned that the voters need to be informed enough to tell their state representatives how to vote. Otherwise, “we’re gonna lose every time because they have all these votes, and the Republicans are not united enough to do the same thing the Democrats are doing.”

However, he also cautioned of powerful forces working behind the scenes. For example, he  highlighted the “coincidences” of connections to the Bush apparatus throughout the impeachment charges:

This whole ‘coincidence’ of George P.—after 10 years of not having his license—on October 1, he asked the State Bar to get his license back—that just so happened to be that later that day, that these employees of mine turn me into the FBI.

Paxton said this all happened before he even knew about the “whistleblowers”—who brought forth charges of bribery and corruption against Paxton—going to the FBI.

“I don’t think that’s any accident. I think that was the first sign that the Bush people were involved in this,” said Paxton.

He highlighted how Bush-connected lawyer Johnny Sutton also represented the “whistleblowers” free of charge for the past three years.

“That doesn’t make any sense either,” said Paxton. “And then of course, Karl Rove wrote the editorial and he was directed, I think, given that editorial by Texans for Lawsuit Reform.”

You have all of these Bush connections that sought to get rid of me. They [TLR] tried first with the election and spending the money there… and then they engage Karl Rove to help them with this process.

Texans for Lawsuit Reform is a special interest group that opposed Paxton in the 2022 Republican Primary.

“They’re beholden to large, either corporate interests or individual interests, that don’t necessarily reflect the views of the Republican Party anymore,” said Paxton. “And so I don’t trust them. Obviously, I saw what they tried to do to me. And if they were still pushing the agenda they initially pushed I don’t think there’d be any complications, but obviously their agenda has changed. And I don’t think it’s a good one.”

Paxton warned of TLR’s influence on the Texas House, stating, “for the most part, their largest contributions are coming from the Texans for Lawsuit Reform group.”

He said he feels called to do his job because “I’m not interested in living in a country where I don’t have freedom, my kids don’t have freedom, [and] my grandchildren don’t have freedom.”

“Unfortunately, we have establishment Republicans like Dade Phelan and others—Karl Rove—who aren’t interested in that. They’ve got their own power base, their own interests, that are separate from the best interests of Texans and more about controlling power and money,” said Paxton.

Sydnie Henry

A born and bred Texan, Sydnie serves as the Managing Editor for Texas Scorecard. She graduated from Patrick Henry College with a B.A. in Government and is utilizing her research and writing skills to spread truth to Texans.