Texas Republican Party Chairman Matt Rinaldi spoke to The Texan on Wednesday and criticized House Republicans for voting to impeach Attorney General Ken Paxton.

The House filed 20 Articles of Impeachment against Paxton in May, alleging that he had disregarded his official duties by abusing his office to protect and benefit a political donor, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

Paxton was impeached just a few days later in a 121-23 vote, with 60 yeas coming from Republicans. From there, the matter was sent to the Senate for trial, which will begin on September 5.

Rinaldi took aim at the House Republicans who voted for impeachment, saying in the aftermath of the vote that the party would have to trust in the “principled leadership of the Texas Senate to restore sanity and reason,” according to AP News.

While speaking with The Texan, Rinaldi criticized House Republicans further.

“I’ve been representing the Republican Party of Texas in what is effectively a declaration of civil war by Republicans in the House, namely House leadership,” Rinaldi told The Texan.

He added that the impeachment vote was “unprecedented in Texas history.”

“The members didn’t even know what was going on until 48 hours before. They were surprised by it. And then, instead of leaving the members to vote, they whipped votes like it was a policy matter. So the way it was handled was extremely top-down,” Rinaldi said.

When asked about his criticisms of the process, Rinaldi claimed that it is now harder to determine whether Paxton is innocent.

“They didn’t hear evidence. They didn’t have witnesses sworn in. They didn’t present a case in the House. They came up with an impeachment document and gave members two hours to vote on it,” Rinaldi told The Texan.

“I mean, I don’t think it’s fair to say you’re not contesting the truth of the matters asserted. [The burden is on] the accuser to prove those matters. They didn’t produce anything,” he said.

One aspect of Paxton’s impeachment that is not often discussed is how it will affect the upcoming primaries.

While the Texas Republican Party does not often make picks, it could censure or formally disapprove of some candidates, although that happens very rarely, Rinaldi said.

“Paxton’s impeachment will definitely factor into which races I get involved in,” he told The Texan.

For his part, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan has defended the impeachment process, saying, “I stand behind what happened in the House, and I’m proud of the work product that the board of managers put forth. And we have a good team. And it was the right thing to do.”