High-profile Houston lawyers Dick DeGuerin, Rusty Hardin to serve as Paxton impeachment prosecutors

Saturday, June 3, 2023
2 Houston legal heavyweights tapped for roles in Paxton impeachment
When Attorney General Ken Paxton goes to a Senate impeachment trial, he may be looking across at prosecutors with big names in the Houston area.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Dick DeGuerin and Rusty Hardin are pretty much legal legends in the state of Texas, and now, together, they'll tackle a historic trial that'll live in Texas history books.

DeGuerin and Hardin are two heavy-hitting Houston attorneys who have more than 100 combined years of legal experience.

"Our strategy is to be open and honest and present as much evidence as possible. We want (Attorney General Ken) Paxton to participate and have his lawyers present evidence and cross examine the witnesses that we will present," DeGuerin explained.

SEE MORE: Timeline of events leading to the impeachment of Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

He and Hardin will be the lead prosecutors for the state House in the Senate impeachment trial of Paxton, who is currently suspended.

In the state of Texas, only two other sitting officials have were impeached: Gov. James "Pa" Ferguson, who was removed for embezzlement of public funds in 1917; and State Judge O.P. Carrillo, who was impeached in 1975 and found guilty of using public money and equipment for personal use and filing false financial statements.

DeGuerin and Hardin are used to high-profile cases. Hardin has represented, politicians, celebrities, and several major businesses. He represented Arthur Andersen, the accounting firm at the center of the Enron scandal.

Recently, Hardin represented former Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson in his sexual assault cases.

DeGuerin is known for defending former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who was accused of misusing corporate donations. He also represented Robert Durst in his murder trial in 2003, when he was acquitted.

DeGuerin also represented Branch Davidian leader David Koresh during the 1993 Waco standoff.

ABC13 spoke with DeGeurin on Friday, who said he had been following Paxton and all of the allegations for years. He was eager to say yes when the chairman of the House impeachment team called him.

Paxton is accused of bribery, retaliation, and obstruction of justice, with some allegations going back to 2015, when he was indicted on securities fraud.

DeGeurin said he and Hardin want all hearings to be public. There are 20 articles of impeachment against Paxton, and according to DeGuerin, there is good, strong evidence and witnesses to back up every single article.

"I think the message from the House of Representatives and the committee that was appointed to investigate is, this is very serious and they want to take politics out of it. It's not liberal vs. conservative. It's not Democrat vs. Republican. It's bipartisan, and it's trying to protect the people of the state of Texas from a crooked officeholder," DeGeurin said.

SEE ALSO: Conflicts of interest await as Ken Paxton impeachment moves to Senate

The team has an uphill battle. A conviction is much harder than an impeachment. Getting the impeachment only required a simple majority vote of the House, but the Senate trial requires a two-thirds majority of the 31 lawmakers.

A trial date hasn't been set yet, but based on a resolution adopted by the Senate, the trial will happen before Aug. 28. ABC13 reached out to Paxton's office Friday but didn't hear back.

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