General Ken Paxton’s IMPEACHMENT TRIAL Week 1
General Ken Paxton’s impeachment trial is the major news story in Texas. The media seem to glorify the prosecution lawyers Rusty Hardin and Dick DeGuerin and diminish the defense attorneys Tony Buzbee and Dan Cogdell and team members. The fact is that the trial is not going in the direction Texas Speaker of the House (#drunkDade as he is being #on X) Dade Phelan intended it to go. In spite of what you may be reading and listening to in the media the prosecution is failing miserably.
It was an interesting and grueling first week for the attorneys and witnesses of General Paxton’s Impeachment trial. The trial started out on Tuesday, September 5 at 9am in the Senate chambers at the Texas Capitol. It recessed at about 4:40pm on Friday afternoon and expects to be back on Monday, September 11 at 9am.
General Paxton had his lead attorney Tony Buzbee respond on his behalf “not guilty” to the allegations. Tony Buzbee is living up to his reputation by fiercely cross examining the prosecution witnesses and so is Dan Cogdell. The prosecutor’s attorneys Hardin and DeGuerin may have been legendary in their time but seemed to lack the capacity to NOT lead their witnesses. A lot of time was wasted in reminding them of such by the defense team.
The first prosecution witness was Jeff Mateer, former first assistant attorney general, who resigned after informing and meeting with the FBI in late September 2020 with no evidence but a strong belief that a crime had been committed. In fact, he told the jury, “I concluded that Mr. Paxton was engaged in conduct that was immoral, unethical, and I had the good faith belief that it was illegal.” Good faith belief but no evidence. It’s curious that as a strong Evangelical he would understand the eighth commandment, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” He is presently employed by First Liberty Institute.
The two whistleblowers that testified were Ryan Vassar former deputy attorney general for legal counsel and David Maxwell former Texas Ranger with a long list of credentials.
Vassar’s testimony on direct examination by Hardin had a meltdown and cried on the stand when Hardin said that the attorney general was referring to them as “rogue employees.” Vassar replied that it was “hurtful” because he dedicated his life, eight years, to the state. How is it possible that a grown deputy attorney general be so emotional when he was testifying to have Paxton removed from office? Paxton has poured all his efforts to serving his constituents first as a state representative in 2003 and then as a state senator before being elected as Attorney General in 2015. A total of 20 years.
When Vassar took the stand again, this time cross examined by Mitch Little, he was asked straight on, “I want to get this straight, You went to the FBI on September 30 with your compatriots and reported the elected attorney general of this state for a crime without any evidence, yes?”
“That’s right, we took no evidence,” Vassar replied.
Texas Ranger David Maxwell, also a whistleblower, was on the witness stand most of Friday. He served as the Director of Law Enforcement for the Attorney General’s office. His service was highlighted by DeGuerin when he questioned him on the stand.
He was cross examined by Cogdell. Maxwell’s experience was certainly an eye opener. He taught classes on how to be a witness and had been a witness many times. Cogdell asked him how many times he had been a witness and Maxwell answered, “Hundreds.” In other words he is an expert witness and knows exactly how to answer. Maxwell started just fine by giving the short answers, yes or no. As the questioning intensified, Maxwell’s answers got a bit irregular and longer. He appeared agitated in answering why he had said one thing to the House Investigation committee about Drew Wicker delivering documents to Nate Paul in the dark of night in a back alley somewhere and now was changing his account. He answered that he couldn’t honesty say who told me. Still he felt compelled to tell the house committee. You can say anything you want when it’s not under oath.
It was all downhill for Maxwell after this. Cogdell continued, “Just so we are clear, you are a fellow who has taught folks how to testify.”
“What? Say it again?” Maxwell wanted Cogdell to repeat the question.
“Why is that every time I ask you a question, you suddenly can’t hear the question?” Said Cogdell.
“Actually by testifying, I learn by experience,” Maxwell replied.
Cogdell continued with his line of questioning, “Is that one of the things you learn by experience Ranger, to pause and act like you haven’t heard the question?”
Maxwell gave a very curious reply, “Maybe”
“What did you learn?” Cogdell asked in response.
“I learned it throws you off,” Maxwell at this point is playing games with the defense. Even though there was laughter it should be taken seriously. This was an indication that he no longer wanted to be on the stand.
Cogdell was not laughing when he said, “Does it? And that’s your intent, Ranger, rather than testifying to the truth and giving direct answers your game is to throw people off?”
“Is that where we’re going Ranger? Is that where we’re going?”
“No,” Maxwell replied.
“That’s what you just said. That’s what you just suggested,” Cogdell repeated his words.
“I just said that I do sometimes pause”
Before the trial started, votes were taken on Paxton’s pretrial motions to dismiss the charges. All motions were overruled. A quick recap on which Senators did vote to dismiss. There were six, Paul Bettencourt of Houston, Donna Campbell of New Braunfels, Brandon Creighton of Conroe, Bob Hall of Edgewood and Lois Kolkhorst of Brenham and Tan Parker of Flower Mound. Five voted in at least one motion to dismiss. They were: Brian Birdwell of Granbury, Bryan Hughes of Mineola, Charles Perry of Lubbock, Charles Schwertner of Georgetown and Kevin Sparks of Midland.
Those Republican senators that voted with the Democrats on the pretrial motions were: Pete Flores of Pleasanton, Kelly Hancock of North Richland Hills, Joan Huffman of Houston, Mayes Middleton of Galveston, Robert Nichols of Jacksonville, Phil King of Weatherford and Drew Springer of Muenster. If anyone of these senators are yours, it would be a good idea to call and let your conservative voice be heard.
The Texas Democrat Party is unwavering in their attempt to declare victory in convicting Paxton. This is what is being sent out to their Texas voters. “At the Texas Democratic Party, we are closely monitoring the trial to make sure that all Paxton Republicans are held to account, while also making sure that the groundwork is being laid to elect Texas Democrats with integrity who respect the rule of law and will stand up for everyday Texas families.”
There will be 30 senators voting as Angela Paxton is ineligible. It takes 21 Senators to convict Paxton and remove him from office. Thus, it would take ten senators to acquit. He had six firm votes to dismiss in pretrial motions and all he would need is four more votes from the five Senators that voted to dismiss at least one Article of Impeachment.
I watched on CSPAN on Tuesday morning and was able to take the above screenshot. And online on Friday and parts of Wednesday and Thursday. If you have the time it’s a good idea to watch online for yourself so you know firsthand what the witnesses are testifying to. Otherwise you might believe the lies the media is promoting to the public. Also there are messages being sent via text that are totally erroneous and malign General Paxton. They are coming from Texans Against Public Corruption. And who is behind this malicious group?