Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has suggested that Speaker Dade Phelan could be breaking the law by purportedly refusing to provide documentation of how much taxpayer money the Texas House spent impeaching Attorney General Ken Paxton to the state auditor.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, multiple state lawmakers called on Phelan (R-Beaumont) and the House to disclose how much the chamber spent following Paxton’s acquittal by the Senate. In September, Patrick officially requested the Texas State Auditor’s Office to uncover “all expenses from the Texas House of Representatives and Senate related to the impeachment trial of [Paxton].”

Patrick took to social media on Monday and blasted the lower chamber for failing to submit impeachment-related expense reports to the state auditor.

“[Phelan] believes the rules don’t apply to him and the House when THEY are audited. They ignored the submission deadline and, so far, have stiffed the State Auditor by withholding their impeachment spending totals,” Patrick claimed. “This is outrageous behavior. It is a crime punishable [by] up to a year in jail under Texas Government Code Sec. 321.019 to not allow access to documents requested by the State Auditor pursuant to an audit.”

A spokesperson for Phelan noted, however, that the House did publish its impeachment-related expenses last week, which was covered by The Dallas Express.

“The state auditor does not work for Dan Patrick, and Dan Patrick cannot unilaterally order a redundant state audit at taxpayers’ expense,” said Phelan press secretary Kim Carmichael. “It is highly inappropriate for a singular government official to use the State Auditor’s Office for his own political agenda and order independent agencies to do as he pleases, completely disregarding the appropriate and legal processes. Unlike the Senate trial, the House is transparent and accountable to the people of Texas.”

Overall, Paxton’s impeachment and subsequent trial cost taxpayers more than $4.3 million, with the overwhelming majority of expenses stemming from the lower chamber’s end of the historic and unprecedented event. Patrick cast doubt on the figures provided by the House, though, insisting it needed to comply with the audit and claiming that the body spent more taxpayer money than it acknowledged.

“What is [sic] Dade Phelan and the House attempting to hide? The House needs to respond to the State Auditor now with a full report of all of their spending. Dade Phelan — show us where the money went,” Patrick wrote on social media.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, Patrick and Phelan have been at odds all year, not just over Paxton’s impeachment but also over Gov. Greg Abbott’s policy priorities.

The legal code cited by Patrick notes that a Class A misdemeanor is committed when an “employee of this state or of an entity subject to audit or investigation by the state auditor … refuses to immediately permit the State Auditor to examine or have access to the books, accounts, reports, vouchers, papers, documents, or electronic data to which the State Auditor is entitled under Section 321.013 … [or] interferes with an examination by the State Auditor.”