On Thursday, attorneys for impeached Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sent a letter to House Speaker Dade Phelan and four others involved in the case against Paxton, demanding they stop approaching potential witnesses and requesting documents.

The letter came from Stone Hilton PLLC, a legal corporation formed by Texas Solicitor General Judd Stone and Chris Hilton, chief of the general litigation division, who took a leave from the Office of the Attorney General to represent Paxton, their boss, in the impeachment trial.

In addition to Phelan, the letter is directed to Reps. Andrew Murr (R-Junction) and Ann Johnson (D-Houston), the impeachment chair and vice chair, respectively, and the team’s outside counsel, Rusty Hardin and Dick DeGuerin.

The letter is captioned “Cease and Desist Improper Contact with Potential Witnesses.” It opens by accusing the addressed parties of having ex parte, or improper, contact with potential impeachment trial witnesses in violation of Texas Government Code 665.005.

The letter explains that once the articles of impeachment were delivered to the Senate on May 29, the House’s ability to conduct an impeachment — including any investigative powers — ceased.

The letter also stated that the managers could not “do anything else regarding this matter” until the Senate sets the impeachment rules per Texas Government Code 665.024 (emphasis in original).

The letter said that, if the parties are availing themselves of the Public Information Act to gather information, they must do so either as individuals, in which case they “have no right to obtain confidential or privileged information,” or as legislators, which would preclude using the information obtained for judicial power, including impeachment.

The letter was peppered with remarks that called into question the motives and even character of the House investigators and prosecutorial managers.

“Despite your public statements to the contrary, you know that your investigation and impeachment were concocted behind closed doors and without any public scrutiny, due process, or presentation of evidence that would in any way detract from your Machiavellian political objective,” the letter stated.

The letter closed by accusing the House members and their attorneys of hiding behind “cowardly tactics.”

On Thursday, businessman and Paxton associate Nate Paul was arrested by the FBI. Paul’s home was previously the subject of an FBI raid, after which a whistleblower complaint alleged that Paxton accepted a bribe to assist Paul, as reported by The Dallas Express.

The Dallas Express reached out to the Office of the Attorney General and Speaker Phelan for comment but received no response from either by press time.