The Texas Senate, meeting Tuesday to hear from a secretive seven-senator committee that was directed to create the rules governing the impeachment trial of suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton, took no public action on trial plans despite several lengthy meetings in private and multiple recesses.
Senators emerged from a closed-door meeting shortly after 9 p.m. and recessed until 10 a.m. Wednesday, then followed up by recessing again, this time to 1 p.m. “as the Senate is working hard on rules,” said Sen. Paul Bettencourt, a Houston Republican who made the motion to recess.
On the final day of the regular legislative session in late May, senators created the committee, gave it permission to conduct its business in private and directed it to return Tuesday to present rules of procedure to a “caucus of the Senate” — which typically meets outside of public view. On Monday, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presides over the Senate, indicated that the impeachment trial rules might not be made public until later this week.
The resolution that created the committee also gave Patrick the authority to set an impeachment trial to begin no later than Aug. 28.