Lt. Gov. Patrick Responds to House Speaker Phelan’s Op-Ed

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick | Image by The Texas Tribune

Dade Phelan orchestrated the House process from the outset. Phelan believed if the Senate convicts, the House was right – if the Senate acquits, then the Senate is corrupt.

The full House heard the House General Investigating Committee telling a story they had been told by the investigators who collected nothing but hearsay. No sworn testimony was taken, no one was cross examined, and the accused was not allowed to attend or have a lawyer present to question witnesses. Representatives and experienced trial lawyers Smithee and Clardy told their fellow members during the House floor debate that the entire House case was based on triple hearsay with absolutely no record to send to the Senate. Representative Smithee called it a “Hang ’em now and judge them later” process. Representative Clardy said a future House would look back one day and say, we don’t know what we’re going to do, but we’re not doing what they did.

The Senate spent 90 days preparing for the trial, spent nine days in trial listening to some of the best attorneys in Texas question and cross examine witnesses under oath. The jury took an oath to listen to the testimony, the evidence, the facts, and follow the law and the Constitution. They deliberated for nine hours and examined hundreds of exhibits.

Every Senator put their hand on the Sam Houston Bible and took an oath to follow the law and evidence.

No one in the House put their hand on the Bible when they cast their vote nor did the Speaker. I respect each Senator’s vote no matter how they voted. The Speaker should do the same.

The Senate trial was real. The House process was a sham and everyone now knows it.

The House Managers simply couldn’t prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Their witnesses crumbled under cross examination. As Senator Pete Flores, a 30-year lawman said, there was no silver bullet of evidence. The jury voted. It’s been decided.

For Dade Phelan to cry foul and question the integrity of the Senate jurors and of my office when his rushed, no-facts, no-record process failed to achieve the results he wanted is disgusting and proves he is unworthy of his leadership position.

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