TYLER, Texas (KETK) — Five East Texas state representatives voted in support of an impeachment trial for Attorney General Ken Paxton and three voted against it.
- District 4 Rep. Keith Bell (R) – Yes
- District 5 Rep. Cole Hefner (R) – Yes
- District 6 Rep. Matt Shaefer (R) – No
- District 7 Rep. Jay Dean (R) – Yes
- District 8 Rep. Cody Harris (R) – Yes
- District 9 Rep. Trent Ashby (R) – Yes
- District 10 Rep. Brian Harrison (R) No
- District 11 Rep. Travis Clardy, (R) – No
“The impeachment proceedings themselves must be unimpeachable, that did not happen here,” said Rep. Brian Harrison.
20 articles of impeachment were put on the desks of state representatives, but Harrison says there wasn’t any actual evidence presented to House members before the vote, just the charges.
“It looked like the weaponization of government power against a political enemy and that’s why I absolutely had to vote no,” said Harrison.
Local attorney, Justin Roberts said the articles were charges based on evidence reviewed by the House committee.
“There was a lot of testimony that could be seen as evidence by the house, so they did have evidence to go off of, the articles of impeachment are a summary of the bad conduct,” said Justin Roberts, Roberts & Roberts Attorneys at Law.
Cody Harris, who represents voters in Anderson, Henderson and Cherokee counties said he believes there was enough evidence to warrant a trial.
“I voted to impeach because I believe there is enough evidence to warrant the trial in the Senate where all facts and witnesses will be presented and examined. I know my vote is unpopular with many,” said Harris.
Another concern of Harrison’s was the timing of the impeachment process.
“Why are we doing this in the last week of the session? Especially why are we doing this when we haven’t delivered key conservative priorities,” said Harrison.
He strongly believes the window of time given to House members to make a fully-informed vote, was too short.
“Unfortunately, it was a rushed process, but these allegations have been vetted over two months now, so I think there has been a fair amount of time to look into the issues,” said Roberts.
Harrison said the accusations against Paxton are serious, but the impeachment process has been handled the wrong way.
“This body made no legitimate attempt to adequately document his guilt nor to demonstrate to my satisfaction that this is anything other than a sham railroading of a political enemy,” said Harrison.
If Attorney General Ken Paxton is impeached by the Senate, he would be the third office holder in the state of Texas to be impeached following a district judge in 1975.