Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has issued a gag order on the House impeachment managers and their retained attorneys in order to ensure Attorney General Ken Paxton receives a fair trial.

The gag order, which goes into immediate effect, will prevent the members of the Texas House of Representatives and the attorneys retained to argue the case before the Senate from making public statements regarding the issue.

Patrick, as president of the Senate, acts as the judge over the impeachment trial and issued the order in that capacity.

“The court finds that there has been extensive publicity surrounding the trial of impeachment of Warren Kenneth Paxton, Jr., and the allegations contained in the articles of impeachment,” the order read.

“The court further finds that out-of-court statements relating to the members of this impeachment proceeding pose a serious and imminent threat to Warren Kenneth Paxton, Jr.’s, right to a fair trial of impeachment, the ability of the members of the court to remain fair and impartial, and to the fair administration of justice,” Patrick continued.

Pointing to several “particularly egregious examples,” which the senators were warned not to read, the order suggested, “If a member of the court is exposed to extrajudicial statements like those … made by individuals involved in the trial of impeachment, it could impact the member’s ability to render a fair and impartial verdict.”

Moreover, Patrick concluded that the “publicity of comments made by individuals involved in the trial of impeachment has been so pervasive, prejudicial, and inflammatory that members’ initial opinions may not be set aside.”

Justifying the gag, he added, “The court finds that individuals involved in the trial of impeachment will likely continue to make public prejudicial and inflammatory statements unless this order is issued.”

The gag is extended to “Any member of the court; member of the House of Representatives; party to the trial of impeachment; witness in the trial of impeachment; or attorney, employee, or agent of any of these individuals.”

These individuals “shall not furnish any statement or information, or make or authorize the making of an extrajudicial statement that a reasonable person would expect to be disseminated by means of public communication, if the person making the statement or reasonably should know that it will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing the trial of impeachment,” Patrick noted.

After giving a list of hypothetical examples, the order adds, “Anyone who violates this order is subject to being held in contempt of court, which is punishable by confinement in county jail for up to six months and/or fine not to exceed $500.”

Attached to the gag order is a collection of inflammatory and prejudicial examples, specifically condemning an opinion column written by Rep. Andrew Murr (R-Junction). Murr was the chair of the House General Investigating Committee, which originally recommended the articles of impeachment.

Additionally, Patrick highlighted language of the attorneys hired by the impeachment managers and public comments made by a likely witness. On the other side, the lieutenant governor admonished some of the comments made by the attorneys representing Paxton.

The senators, as members of the impeachment court, were advised not to read the attachment.

Paxton’s trial is set to start on September 5 at 9:00 a.m., as reported previously by The Dallas Express.