AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — On Saturday, our local Representatives voted on a resolution on whether or not to impeach Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, here are their reactions after Saturday’s impeachment.

Two of our local Representatives voted no to impeach Paxton, State Rep. John Smithee, and State Rep. Four Price, while State Rep. Ken King voted in favor to impeach Paxton. spoke with State Rep. John Smithee, 30 minutes following the vote to impeach Paxton:

“This whole proceeding was rushed. The first time we even found out this was going to occur and that any impeachment proceeding was even pending was this last Tuesday evening. We weren’t provided a copy of any records until Thursday. And we’re doing we did the impeachment vote today on the Saturday afternoon of a holiday weekend when most people were out doing other things. And it all seemed a little rushed to me and I have a bad feeling about doing something of such monumental consequence so quickly. And with six little public notices. And really with such little information available to the house to make a decision. I didn’t feel that we were adequate, we had enough information to determine whether there should be an indictment one way or another.”

State Rep. Smithee explains why he voted no:

“I think there was a fairly high bar to vote yes, to impeach someone. And I think it has to be done on evidence. And there was no evidence presented to the house. No evidence was presented in any of the hearings. In the allegation. There were allegations, but none of those allegations rise to the level of evidence. And so without evidence, it’s very difficult to vote to impeach someone. I think a lot of people were just determined that they wanted to impeach the attorney general for various reasons, and so they voted for it. But no one could say that they voted for it based on the evidence because there wasn’t any evidence.”

State Rep. Smithee details the 121 to 23 vote:

“All the Democrats except one at my recollection voted to impeach which we expected they would. A good number of Republicans also voted to impeach, and I think that you know, there was a division there. My objection was more to the process, and the fact that we failed to conduct this process in accordance with long-standing House precedent. There have been two successful impeachments prior to this in the history of the Texas Legislature when in 1917, and the other in 1975. The proceedings were much, much more detailed, and more heavily supported by evidence than this proceeding was, and I’m concerned about setting a bad precedent for a future bad precedent for future impeachments that may or may occur in generations in the future.”

State Rep. Smithee tells that the process was rushed:

“There was nothing that required us to rush through this. We don’t have to be in session as a legislator to conduct an impeachment inquiry. We can do it really at any time, under the terms of the Constitution, and the government code. There was no need to rush into this. I think the public needs to be more involved in the entire process, and doing it on a Saturday afternoon of a holiday weekend really deprives the public of the opportunity, to watch and to input to their legislators how they feel. “

State Rep. Smithee explains what’s next in the impeachment process:

“Impeachment basically just means formal charges have been filed, and now it will be up to the Senate to conduct a trial on those charges. Obviously, they can’t convict based on what the house had before in terms of evidence, but there will be additional evidence probably submitted on both sides when the case reaches the Senate. I don’t think anyone knows yet it could occur in the next two days. Although the session ends Monday at midnight on Memorial Day, the Senate like the House doesn’t have to do this during the session, it can do it. They can conduct an impeachment trial, really at any time.”

State Rep. Smithee, talks about what could have made him vote yes:

“I think the bar that I would set for impeachment, for a statewide official would be this if they were convicted of a relatively serious criminal offense. I’m not talking about jaywalking, or speeding, but, but anything of a high misdemeanor or a felony if they were convicted. If not automatically removed from office, I would vote to remove any official under those circumstances. But here you’ve had, no conviction, and on most of these charges, there’s been no indictment, even though I suspect that most had been investigated by either state or federal law enforcement officials. In this country, we have a strong presumption of innocent until proven guilty, particularly when you have an elected official who was elected a little more than six months ago, and reelected by a fairly large majority of the voters. I think in that circumstance, you owe some deference to the will of the voters and not try to undo the election unless there’s some very good reason to do that.”

State Rep. Four Price, released the following statement on his Facebook page:

“Earlier tonight, the Texas House of Representatives took up and considered House Resolution 2377 concerning the impeachment of Attorney General Ken Paxton. The measure passed by a vote of 121-23. I voted against adoption of the resolution. To be clear, I don’t condone the actions alleged to have been conducted by Attorney General Paxton nor am I defending him. What I do support, however, is due process and the protection of the institution of the Texas House of Representatives. Personally, I believe it to be inappropriate to impeach a statewide elected official (no matter who he or she may be) on short notice, on unsworn hearsay testimony and without the accused being afforded the opportunity to be present before the investigating committee to address the allegations presented. Additionally, impeachment votes in Texas have historically been preceded by public hearings with advance notice. That did not happen in this instance. We are establishing precedent here for proceedings that will undoubtedly and unfortunately occur in the future. Our standards for such matters should be high and unabbreviated. Impeachment proceedings like these should happen rarely, with plenty of notice to the public and only with appropriate and transparent rules in place for House Floor procedures which are understood well in advance. No one should question the framework within which we work nor the timing of any impeachment vote. It is too important. To me, the process made known to all representatives just a few days ago culminating in tonight’s vote on a holiday weekend was unnecessarily rushed. For these reasons, I opposed adoption of the impeachment resolution for which we were asked to register our vote.”

State Rep. Four Price, (R)

We reached out to State Rep. Ken King on his decision and have not heard back at this time.

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This is a developing story. will update this article as new information becomes available.

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