According to Dallas Morning News, Texas House republicans have condemned Speaker Dennis Bonnen for comments in a recording by conservative Michael Quinn Sullivan and an investigation has now been launched.
“Both members violated the high standards of the conduct we expect of our members.” A caucus statement courtesy of Dallas Morning News said, “Their conduct does not reflect the views of our caucus membership.”
Dallas Morning News reported that in June Empower Texans leader Sullivan reported that Rep. Bonnen and Rep. Dustin Burrows offered to provide him with writers for his site Texas Scorecard if he attacked 10 Republican lawmakers in the 2020 primary elections. Though Bonnen originally denied the accusation, a recording was released by Quinn confirmed that such a meeting took place.
KXAN reported that there will be an investigation into Bonnen by the Texas Rangers. This investigating team will consist of former House Democrat Patricia Gray, former House republican Will F. Hartnett and former Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Phillips. Committee Chairman Morgan Meyer stated that the investigation into Bonnen’s actions will be as legal advisors.
“This bi-partisan panel,” Committee Chairman Morgan Meyer said, (courtesy of KXAN) “will aid the committee in evaluating the final evidence solely on legal considerations.”
According to the Texas Tribune, members of the Texas caucus met Wednesday in Austin, where further action was necessary. Rep. Chris Turner stated that members of the House in attendance were on the side of Bonnen or Burrows.
“Everybody presents universally condemned,” Turner said, “what the speaker had said in that recording.”