Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has called on Republican state House Speaker Dade Phelan to resign after a video emerged of him appearing intoxicated during a session.
The video was taken Friday during a 14-hour session, KDFW-TV reported.
In a clip, Phelan appeared inebriated as he slurred his words to the point at which some of them were impossible to understand.
In a statement he posted on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon, Paxton called on Phelan to resign and seek “help.”
“After much consideration, it is with profound disappointment that I call on Speaker Dade Phelan to resign at the end of this legislative session,” he said. “Texans were dismayed to witness his performance presiding over the Texas House in a state of apparent debilitating intoxication."
— Matt Beebe (@TheMattBeebe) May 23, 2023
Paxton added, “His conduct has negatively impacted the legislative process and constitutes a failure to live up to his duty to the public. Texans were relying on the House to pass critical conservative priorities including protecting the integrity of our elections and preventing Chinese spies from controlling Texas land.
"His failures as Speaker have created a credibility crisis for all Republican candidates and for our entire Party. While I hope Speaker Phelan will get the help he needs, he has proven himself unworthy of Texans' trust and incapable of leading the Texas House.”
The video of Phelan went viral on social media over the weekend:
This is video from last night in the Texas House of Representatives where it appears that TX House Speaker Dade Phelan is either really drunk or having a stroke. pic.twitter.com/dbSG7AO30r
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) May 20, 2023
In an effort for full transparency around that night, here's more of Speaker Dade Phelan #txlege on May 19th. His speech sounds off that whole night. He doesn't sound drunk, he sounds like he should be checked by a medical professional. https://t.co/JERIO2khkx pic.twitter.com/bMbOzW0SuG
— Mike B (@MikeBHoustonTX) May 21, 2023
Dade Phelan supports Child Genital Mutilation.
Here he is recently presiding over the TX House.
Phelan is either HAMMERED drunk or he's having a stroke. pic.twitter.com/sNHr0vERqJ
— Stew Peters (@realstewpeters) May 21, 2023
Phelan had not directly addressed the video as of Wednesday.
His spokeswoman suggested a political motive led to Paxton's call for him to resign; Phelan isn't popular with conservatives.
"The motives for and timing behind Paxton’s statement today couldn’t be more evident," Cait Wittman said, according to KDFW. "Mr. Paxton’s statement today amounts to little more than a last ditch effort to save face."
Matthew Wilson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University, told the outlet it is not uncommon for state lawmakers to consume alcohol once they exit the floor during sessions.
"The issue is whether an official of the House shows up in an obviously intoxicated state to carry out state business," Wilson said. "That is where the criticism will come. Not whether he was drinking"
He concluded, "Lots of people do that. It’s was his ability to conduct state business seriously impaired, and that video makes it look as if he was well over that line."
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.