Two days after the Texas House impeached Attorney General Ken Paxton, members formally delivered the 20 articles of impeachment to the Senate.
The 12 House Board of Managers who will be the prosecutors during Paxton's upcoming trial in the Senate spoke during a late afternoon news conference.
The Chair of the Board of Managers, representative Andrew Murr, said, "This is a solemn process that all of us take very seriously."
Since being impeached, Paxton has been suspended from his job as the state's top cop and Senators will become jurors and two-thirds of them will have to vote to remove him from office permanently.
The Board of Managers includes four Republican representatives from North Texas: Charlie Geren of Fort Worth, David Spiller of Jacksboro, Morgan Meyer of Dallas, and Jeff Leach of Allen.
"This is about facts and evidence. My colleagues and I won't stand for public corruption," Murr said. The House accused Paxton of misusing his office to benefit himself and a campaign donor.
The Vice Chair of the Board of Managers, Representative Ann Johnson, was asked about a Dallas Morning News report indicating that Paxton's legal team delivered papers detailing their side of the story to the Senators' offices.
"Dropping a binder on your potential jurors could be considered tampering or attempting to interfere with a lawful process," Johnson said. "Now that the Senate has received the articles of impeachment, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick set up a committee of Senators who will propose rules and procedures for the impeachment trial."
Among the Senators on the committee, Chair Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, Phil King, R-Weatherford, and Royce West, D-Dallas.
One question: will Paxton's wife, Senator Angela Paxton, R-McKinney, participate in the trial?
When asked about what could be expected of the trial, representative Murr responded, "I don't have a comment on that at this time." Senator Paxton's office also declined to comment.
Paxton has called the impeachment, "an ugly spectacle and a politically motivated sham from the beginning."
He has sharply criticized Speaker Dade Phelan as a liberal working with Democrats. On Monday, Phelan broke his silence when he addressed the House about the impeachment.
"What happened this week is nothing I take pride in. It is not anything I was proud of, but it was necessary. It was just," Phelan said. "And the Texas House spoke, and we sent a strong message for the future of Texas."
The Texas Senate trial will start no later than August 28th.
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