A House ethics panel heard explosive testimony from investigators on Wednesday after Texas General Attorney Ken Paxton put charges against the state House speaker presiding above the meeting while intoxicated and asked for him to leave. The testimony described what the investigators said was years of delinquency by Ken Paxton. The events of the last week signaled the eruption of long-simmering conflicts amid the most powerful Republicans.
The public acrimony’s spectacular explosion has been building for years. Ken Paxton, a bit of a traditionalist leader who supported Donald Trump as well as used his position to contest the results of the 2020 election (presidential), has long criticized the leadership of the House as being too liberal or permissive.
Dade Phelen Asked To Step Down Post Ken Paxton’s Accusations Of Intoxication
His assaults against House Speaker Phelan provide a clear glimpse into the political landscape in which Republicans hold sway over all branches of state power but are divided among many groups that are vying for influence and power.
In a notice to the House GIC, the chamber’s ethics committee, Paxton on Tuesday requested a probe of Phelan’s performance of his responsibilities in what he called “an intoxicated state.”
The video of Dade Phelan where he appears to be slurring his speech as he spoke over the chamber of the House after Friday’s night session went viral on social media over the weekend, prompting Paxton to demand Phelan’s resignation. Apart from the video recordings, Ken Paxton had not offered any other proof to back up his assertion that Dade was intoxicated.
In a statement published to his Twitter account, Paxton urged Dade Phelan who was the Speaker to step down after the current legislative session. “Texans were shocked to see him preside over the Texas House in an apparent state of crippling intoxication,” said one observer.
Four former employees of the attorney general’s office accused Paxton in March of abusing his power to help his political friend Nate Paul, a real estate investor who had given tens of thousands of dollars to Paxton’s campaign. Paxton then sought to use $3.3 million in state funds to settle the lawsuit.