Representative Jared Patterson – Paxton Questions Answered

What you should know about the Paxton Impeachment
I realize some folks may not find the time to read the information contained in this email. However, with an issue as important as the impeachment of a statewide officeholder, I feel it’s important to send out as much information – as many facts -as possible. However, if you read nothing else, I implore you to at least take the time to read every page of the transcript of the Public Hearing of the House General Investigating Committee in matter of Warren Kenneth Paxton.

What else is contained in this email?

Immediately below, you will find an editorial Chairman Andy Murr wrote for the Dallas Morning News regarding questions about the process the Texas House undertook in this matter.

Below that, you will find a copy of the email I sent to this very thread a couple of weeks ago sharing my thoughts and some information you may not have known previously.

This was not an easy task, but I am confident that I upheld the oath of my office. I hope you take careful consideration of all of the information contained in this email, particularly the transcript of the Public Hearing.

Chairman Murr DMN Editorial
The text below was written by Republican State Representative and Chairman of the House General Investigating Committee Andrew Murr. It addresses a number of the questions I have received around the process of Mr. Paxton’s impeachment. My hope is that it clarifies some of the misinformation currently found on social media.
Some of my fellow Republicans in the Texas House of Representatives are facing criticism in their home communities after voting to impeach Attorney General Ken Paxton. We expected questions from even our own supporters when we took the vote to impeach, but we also understood that we could not ignore our constitutional responsibility to impose this unique, and fully warranted, form of public accountability for a fellow officeholder.

Resolutions condemning Paxton’s impeachment, such as the one passed recently by the officers of the Collin County Republican Party, focus entirely on the process used for impeachment in the House. Curiously, they do not suggest that the House got any of the facts wrong. As the chairman of the House General Investigating Committee and the author of the impeachment resolution, I am compelled to explain how the House’s actions on this matter in recent months have been squarely within the bounds of the Texas Constitution, state law and the House’s own rules of procedure.

Our committee began investigating Paxton after he requested $3.3 million in taxpayer money to settle a whistleblower lawsuit brought by four former aides who had sounded the alarm, at great risk to themselves, regarding his alleged wrongdoings. In short, Paxton was making a request for hush money. He declined multiple opportunities to explain himself and answer questions about the settlement. Paxton was asked by the House Appropriations Committee to explain why so much money was requested, and he was afforded a standing invitation by the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee — which has direct oversight over his agency — and he declined to explain any facts regarding the whistleblower lawsuit or why the millions of tax dollars were appropriate to settle such a serious case. Whistleblower acts exist to shine sunlight on misconduct and illegal acts within the government.

Paxton’s request for this money before any meaningful discovery could proceed in the case and his refusal to explain why taxpayers should provide it prompted further investigation.

The committee retained a brain trust of seasoned, conservative prosecutors and investigators. For months, using skills honed over more than 100 combined years of prosecutorial experience, they interviewed witnesses, including 15 former high-level employees at the Office of the Attorney General under Paxton — all of whom, with one exception, expressed grave concerns that he would retaliate against them for giving those interviews. Knowing Paxton’s history, we proceeded conscientiously with respect to witnesses/victims and the information and leads they were able to provide. This was not unlike the work performed in our communities every day by law enforcement and prosecutors to gather information and present their cases to a grand jury for indictment.

Much of the alleged misconduct the committee uncovered involved behavior that occurred before the 2022 election. Some have incorrectly suggested that this evidence not be considered in an impeachment trial in the Senate. Legally, there is nothing to preclude its introduction. In fact, the last two officials to face impeachment (in 1917 and 1975) were convicted for misconduct that occurred during prior terms. Further, while the voters may have been aware of allegations against Paxton, the facts of the case have never been so thoroughly compiled and publicly aired. This is in large part due to Paxton’s pattern of delay, distraction and deception.

Additionally, while some try to expand and redefine the House’s role in impeachment, the Constitution is clear. The Constitution vests the power to impeach in the House, and the power to try the accused officer and render judgments is vested in the Senate, sitting as a Court of Impeachment. The House found that the evidence of abuse of office, criminal acts and obstruction of justice warranted a trial, and the only venue for having that trial is the Texas Senate, where all sides present arguments, evidence and witnesses.

While we knew that some of our fellow Republicans would chafe at the attorney general’s impeachment, I cannot wrap my mind around those, such as the leaders of the party in Collin County, who suggest that the Senate should hold no trial at all. A full and fair trial in the Senate is the only way to reach a resolution that is fair to Paxton, to the conservative former trusted aides who put their careers on the line to report his wrongdoings to law enforcement and suffered severe consequences at the hand of Paxton’s political machine, and to the Texas taxpayers who fund the Office of the Attorney General — the same taxpayers who expect the state’s chief law enforcement officer to honor the oath we all swore, requiring us to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and laws of this state, so help us God.

For many of us who represent solidly conservative areas, the safest political choice might have been turning our gaze away from Paxton’s corruption. Fortunately, I serve in the Texas House with men and women who put principle above politics and, after reviewing the facts presented by our committee, took the difficult-but-necessary vote to impeach. The members of the House fulfilled our constitutional responsibility and adhered to our oaths of office, even when Paxton did not.

Now the members of the Texas Senate should have the opportunity to exercise theirs.

Republican state Rep. Andrew S. Murr represents District 53 in the Texas House of Representatives and is the chairman of the House General Investigating Committee. He wrote this column for The Dallas Morning News.

The information below is from an email I sent to supporters and constituents following the House’s actions on the Paxton Impeachment.

Since I sent the information below, Governor Greg Abbott has named an interim Attorney General, John Scott, who hit the ground running fighting for Texas against the Biden Administration’s EPA and ridiculous rules around Title IX as it relates to “transgender” athletes.

The Impeachment of
Attorney General Ken Paxton

The Texas House made two historic decisions this session.

The first was to expel a House Member for the first time in about a century. Earlier this session, I voted to expel former Representative Bryan Slaton after it was determined he got his 19 year-old intern drunk and had sex with her. He followed that by threatening other staff members in order to keep them quiet. It was an historic decision, but it was needed for the integrity of the House and the honor of our staff members.

The second historic decision was in the closing days of the 88th Texas Legislature. As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, the Texas House General Investigating Committee investigated Attorney General Ken Paxton for months and ultimately filed 20 articles of impeachment. I voted in favor of the resolution, sending his case to the Texas Senate for a trial and possible conviction.

It’s important to note the House’s role in this situation. Unlike the Federal Constitution, the Texas Constitution outlines no specific grounds for impeachment. Nor does it rest on the House to determine guilt.  The Texas House’s role is simply to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to recommend a trial in the Senate. The Senate’s process will be similar to any other trial, where witnesses will be called, directly and cross examined, where evidence will be reviewed, and a judgement rendered.

How did we get here?

In 2020, multiple senior aides of the Attorney General, many of whom were conservative stalwarts appointed by Paxton himself, reported to the FBI their concerns Paxton was misusing his office to help multi-millionaire real estate developer and donor, Nate Paul. Subsequently, these aides were fired. After a Texas appeals court ruled against Paxton, he agreed to pay $3.3 million in a settlement to his former senior aides for their wrongful termination. His request to use taxpayer funds for this settlement sparked the investigation into his actions as Attorney General, uncovering a litany of abuses such as constitutional bribery, disregard for official duty, obstruction of justice in a pending securities fraud case, making false statements on official documents, and abusing public trust. Each of these actions were to benefit himself or his donor, Nate Paul. To be clear, many of the allegations against Ken Paxton make it appear that his donor, Nate Paul, had complete leverage over and use of the Office of the Attorney General for his own personal gain. Despite Ken Paxton’s record as a conservative fighter, these abuses and illegal acts cannot and should not be overlooked. In fact, as a Republican and as the chief law enforcement officer for the state, I would expect an even higher bar for Mr. Paxton.

Given the totality of the alleged abuses, each one of which may in itself be grounds for impeachment, I voted today to continue this process by impeaching Attorney General Ken Paxton. You can watch the GI Committee hearing where the facts of the case were stated publicly for the first time here.

Among the 20 articles of impeachment, Ken Paxton is accused of: 

• Repeatedly manipulating the legal system to his personal, political, and financial gain, abusing the power of the office for both himself, his friends, and political donors;
• Engaging in bribery by providing legal favors and specialized access in exchange for renovations to his home and other personal benefits;
• Directing employees to reverse legal conclusions, act contrary to law, and abandon legal precedent when it could benefit him or his friends;
• Abusing the power of his office to obtain private DPS and FBI files related to an investigation of his friend, which he then provided to that friend, giving the friend premature details of law enforcement’s case against him;
• Purposely concealing facts which deprived the electorate of opportunities to make informed decisions;
• Taking adverse action against “whistleblower” employees who reported his illegal conduct before launching a public and private smear campaign to besmirch their reputations and jeopardize their future employment.

What about the process?

It’s important to note that several members of the Texas House and the public have stated discomfort with the process the Texas House followed to arrive at this conclusion. Some of whom have even stated impeachment was “illegal” or “unconstitutional”. These claims fall flat, particularly from House Members who voted to adopt the House Rules on the first day of the legislative session. The House General Investigating Committee followed the process outlined under law, the House Rules, and the constitution to the letter. Moreover, the ridiculous claim that somehow these crimes were committed before the election is preposterous. Imagine any elected official committing a crime moments before the polls close and being completely released from any liability at 7pm! The statute often referenced, incorrectly, is not related to a statewide elected official nor does it preclude the impeachment process.

The committee hired several experienced attorneys and investigators with a background in white collar crimes to conduct the investigation. They interviewed witnesses. They examined the facts before them. They presented a recommendation to the body and the body voted. This is the exact process outlined and agreed upon by Members of the Texas House just five months ago.

It’s also important to note that General Paxton was invited to provide testimony during one dozen committee hearings for the House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence. He was also invited to provide testimony before a subcommittee of the House Committee on Appropriations. Thus far, he has either declined to testify in the House or refute the charges. Additionally, no House Member who voted against impeachment stated the reason was due to his innocence – just concern over the process (which was adopted by those same Members in January). As far as I can tell, no one who has read the facts of the case believes he is innocent.

So what’s next?

Ken Paxton was temporarily removed from office while he awaits trial in the Senate. Currently, the First Assistant Attorney General Brent Webster is acting-AG until Governor Abbott appoints a replacement. If Paxton is convicted in the Senate, Governor Abbott can keep the replacement until the following election or call for a special election to fill the vacancy. Critically, we must have a working Attorney General to fight back against the Biden/Harris Administration. But, it must be a fighter who isn’t compromised or selling the office to the highest bidder.

The Texas House has appointed a 12-member bipartisan Board of Managers to manage the prosecution at trial. It’s likely the Board will hire a law firm to assist them. The Texas Senate has set a date for the trial to be no later than August 28th of this year and has appointed a bipartisan committee of 7 members to make recommendations for the rules of the trial. The 7-member board will begin meeting June 20th.

Mr. Paxton will be afforded all legal protections and privileges owed to him under the law for a fair trial with additional finding of fact, cross-examination of witnesses under oath, and ultimately, a determination whether to permanently remove General Paxton from office or not.

Final Thoughts.

Despite the swirl of noise surrounding this issue, I came to the conclusion there was no other reasonable option but to vote in support of impeachment and send the matter to trial in the Senate.

Ultimately, because of my unrelenting political conservatism, I believe and openly support many of the pursuits and challenges Attorney General Paxton made throughout his time in office. However, that exact conservatism I hold so deeply is now precisely why I am in support of his impeachment. Because I am a conservative, I oppose spending millions of taxpayer funds to settle a whistleblower lawsuit. Because I am conservative, I am against public officials participating in a bribery scheme. And it is because I am a conservative that I distrust those who abuse their office for their own personal gain, at the cost of justice and the public trust.

No one is above the law – especially not the chief law enforcement officer in the State of Texas.

As a conservative elected state official, I must conserve my own authority and the power of those with whom I align politically. It is my oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of the State of Texas. So help me God.


Ken Paxton triggered an investigation into why he wanted the Texas House to pay a $3.3 million settlement.

A significant number of issues were uncovered during the months-long investigation, multiple of which could be felonies.

The House determined there was sufficient evidence to send the issue to trial in the Texas Senate, which will begin later this summer.

There is a temporary AG for now, and it’s like Governor Abbott will appoint a temporary replacement in the coming days.

This is a heartbreaking development for a public servant who is revered in conservative circles for fighting for our state and our rights. But, no one is above the law – especially not those sworn to uphold it.