District Attorney

Texas GOP House Speaker Dennis Bonnen Won't Face Criminal Charges for Campaign Allegations

Bonnen announced on Tuesday he will not run for re-election as speaker or his House seat

A district attorney says Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen won't face criminal charges for offering House media credentials in exchange for campaign help.

Brazoria County District Attorney Jeri Yenne released a statement Thursday calling Bonnen's actions and statements "repugnant" but said there isn't enough evidence to warrant criminal prosecution.

Bonnen was facing a state police investigation into allegations of misconduct after the release of a secretly recorded conversation in which he sought help ousting members of his own party in 2020 and used foul language to disparage Democrats.

Bonnen announced on Tuesday he will not run for re-election as speaker or his House seat after a growing number of Republicans called for his resignation.

The scandal has thrown Republicans into disarray at a time when their state dominance is slipping.

Below is Bonnen's statement in full:

"It is unfortunate that a surreptitiously obtained 64-minute recording turned into a ten week investigation and ultimately ended with the defamation of a man's quarter-century in public service. Today's decision by the District Attorney deflates Michael Quinn Sullivan's entire reason for going public three months ago -- that, according to him, the Speaker solicited a bribe and broke the law. Unfortunately, we now live in a political climate where one is guilty until proven innocent, and not only has that thrown the ability of Republicans to hold onto our House majority into jeopardy, it sets a dangerous precedent moving forward. Speaker Bonnen fully cooperated throughout the investigation, and out of respect for the process, refrained from publicly weighing in on the matter until its final resolution. He appreciates the Rangers' thorough examination and the DA's confirmation of no wrongdoing. While justice prevailed today, unfortunately, the damage has been done."

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