Legal experts appointed to investigate Dennis Bonnen over controversial meeting

Texas Politics
Dennis Bonnen

FILE – In this May 15, 2015, file photo, Texas Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, talks to the media at the Texas Capitol in Austin, Texas. Texas Republicans are reeling from an internal scandal, involving Bonnen and a hardline conservative activist, that could threaten their long dominance of the state Legislature in the nation’s most populous conservative state. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A panel of bi-partisan legal experts will come together to help with the investigation into Dennis Bonnen, the House Committee on General Investigating has announced.

Bonnen, the Speaker of the House, apologized this week after a recording released by a conservative group showed him making offensive statements against women and LGBTQ members of the Texas House.

He also asked Michael Quinn Sullivan, leader of the political non-profit Empower Texans, to investigate fellow Republicans, and offered media credentials.

The Texas Rangers are investigating the controversial meeting between Bonnen and Sullivan.

To assist with the investigation, the committee has appointed Patricia Gray, a former Democratic member of the House, Will F. Hartnett, a former Republican member of the House and Thomas R. Phillips, the former chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court, to serve as legal advisors.

“My colleagues on the committee and I have consistently said that any investigation must follow the facts and the evidence without regard to political consideration,” said Committee chairman Morgan Meyer, R-Dallas.

“This bi-partisan panel will aid the committee in evaluating the final evidence solely on legal considerations. Each member of the panel is recognized for their legal expertise and judgment, and we are grateful that they are willing to again serve the public in this capacity.”

After the Texas Rangers deliver their final report to the committee, the panel will review it and the supporting evidence with committee members. They will then advise the committee on the next steps.

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