Texas Republicans are in the middle of a civil war over one leader’s behavior last week. On Friday (May 19), Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan went viral after a video surfaced of the GOP House leader appearing to drunkenly slur his speech while presiding over the chamber. Now, the elected official is facing calls to resign from within his own party.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton released a statement yesterday (May 23) sharing his thoughts on the matter.
“After much consideration, it is with profound disappointment that I call on Speaker Dade Phelan to resign at the end of this legislative session,” Paxton said, per NBC News. “Texans were dismayed to witness his performance presiding over the Texas House in a state of apparent debilitating intoxication. His conduct has negatively impacted the legislative process and constitutes a failure to live up to his duty to the public.”
Republican operatives in the state, however, believe Paxton’s words to be conveniently timed. The House General Investigating Committee has been looking into “events tied to the firing of the whistleblowers in addition to Ken Paxton’s alleged illegal conduct” since March, according to The Houston Chronicle.
A spokesperson for Phelan fired back and pointed out the conflict of interest the attorney general was in. “The motives for and timing behind Paxton’s statement today couldn’t be more evident,” the team member said, per the Chronicle. “Mr. Paxton’s statement today amounts to little more than a last-ditch effort to save face.”
Paxton remains under indictment over accusations of securities fraud charges from 2015. The GOP-led investigation committee met today (May 24) to determine how to proceed with their work. According to The Associated Press, evidence showed the state attorney general has repeatedly broken the law over the years by misusing official information and abusing his official capacity.
Check out the clip in question below.