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Public records and unreleased witness information in Paxton’s impeachment trial |  Texas


(The Center Square) – Dozens of exhibits were admitted as evidence in the impeachment trial of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, but as of the third day of the trial on Thursday, none had been posted on the website of the state impeachment court. The court did not reveal what kinds of records or evidence are included.

Six witnesses were sworn in as a group on Wednesday by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, but none gave their names during the process. Patrick also did not specify who they were. Their names, and no other witness names, were listed on the indictment. website.

So far, throughout the trial, when the attorneys refer to the exhibits, a copy of them appears on the screens of the tablets located on the desk of each state senator, but it does not there is no large screen allowing the general public or the media to view them, nor any description given to explain what the exhibition refers to.

The Senate serves as a jury during the trial after the House approved 20 articles of impeachment against Paxton charging him with bribery, breach of public trust, unfitness for office and other allegations. Four articles out of the 20 were left in abeyance.

The Center Square asked Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s press office and the Secretary of the Senate if and when information already claimed to be in the public domain would be posted on the Impeachment Court website and did not received response. Patrick presides over the trial.

Center Square also asked who were the six witnesses who were sworn in and received no response. Already two of them testified: Former First Assistant Attorney General Jeff Mateer and Former First Assistant Attorney General Ryan Bangert. A third witness, who testified Thursday afternoon, former assistant attorney general counsel Ryan Vasser, was not among the first six and was sworn in separately, before testifying Thursday.

The only entity outside the court that would have a copy of the witness list is the Dallas Morning News. We still don’t know who leak the list. The attorney for the House managers issued a statement indicating that none of the House managers released the list of witnesses.

Patrick has yet to announce whether he will investigate those who leaked the witness list or impose penalties on those who violated a secrecy order put in place by the Senate and Patrick before the trial. prohibiting anyone involved from speaking about it publicly. .

Transcripts of the testimony of the two witnesses who have already testified have not yet been posted on the Impeachment Court’s website. The daily agenda and trial schedule, including those testifying, are also not published on the site.

Patrick said the impeachment process would be transparent. It remains unclear if and when the public information will be posted on the Impeachment Court’s website.

Video recordings of the trial are released to the Texas Senate website labeled by date and “part”. None of the descriptions of the video recordings indicate which witness is being interviewed.

The Texas Senate Audio/Video Archives page states: “Official audio recordings are available from the Senate Personnel Services Office at (512) 463-0430. »