Prominent lawyers Dick DeGuerin and Rusty Hardin will serve as lead prosecutors for the Texas House in the Senate impeachment trial of suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton.
The two Houston-based defense attorneys, introduced at a Capitol news conference Thursday, are legends in their own right, having separately represented a litany of high-profile athletes, celebrities and politicians in criminal and civil investigations.
DeGuerin defended former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay against charges that he illegally funneled corporate donations to members of the Texas Legislature in 2002. DeLay was found guilty, but his conviction was overturned on appeal.
Hardin is on a short list of attorneys named “Texas Legal Legends” by the State Bar of Texas’ litigation section and, before opening a private practice two decades ago, served 15 years as a prosecutor in the Harris County district attorney’s office.
At a brief news conference on Thursday, Hardin and DeGuerin noted that together they have more than 100 years of legal experience and said it was an honor to represent the House in Paxton’s trial, which has not been scheduled but will occur before Aug. 28, according to a resolution recently adopted by the Senate.
The two said their job was to be transparent as they lay out all of the allegations against Paxton so senators, who will sit as a jury, as well as members of the public can decide for themselves if Paxton deserves to be permanently removed from office.
“The people of the state of Texas are entitled to know whether their top cop is a crook,” DeGuerin said. “We know the importance of transparency in these proceedings because the people have a right to know.”
Hardin said he “shocked” by the allegations against Paxton that were detailed in the 20 articles of impeachment. “This is not about a one time misuse of office,” he said. “This is not about a two-time misuse of office. It’s about a pattern of misconduct.”
He added: “I promise you it is 10 times worse than what has been public.”
That sound you hear is me fanning myself. That may be hyperbole, but still – inject it directly into my veins. I know we’re still a couple months out, but I am ready for this trial to begin. Here’s a Chron op-ed from State Rep. Andrew Murr about why Republicans should want to impeach Paxton if you want more.