Texas Republican Party chairman Allen West falsely suggested that Texas could secede from the United States and become an independent country.
In radio interviews after the 2020 presidential election, West suggested Texas could vote to again become a republic, as it was before joining the United States in 1845.
“This is something that was written into the Texas Constitution,” the former congressman said in one late December radio broadcast. “Or it was promised to Texas when we became part of the United States of America– that if we voted and decided, we could go back to being our own republic.”
Constitutionally, Texas cannot legally secede and leave the United States to become its own republic.
The annexation resolution West is referring to stipulates that Texas could, in the future, choose to divide itself into five new states, not divide itself from the US and declare independence.
West mistook the congressional annexation resolution that made Texas a state for the Texas constitution.
Texas does have a history of secession.
In 1861, Texas voted in favor of secession and later left the Union to join the Confederate States of America, setting the stage for the American Civil War.
After the Confederacy lost the war, the Supreme Court ruled that Texas had remained a state, despite joining the Confederate States of America in an act of rebellion for four years, and that any acts ratified by the Confederate-era state legislature were “absolutely null.”
Texas eventually rejoined the Union in 1870.
In the December broadcast, West added that he supported a bill that would soon be introduced in the Texas state house in January, which would create a nonbinding referendum election on whether Texans should secede.
The bill, which has little chance of passing, would allow for a vote on whether the state could form a committee to develop a long-term plan to secede.
West’s comments on secession come as he repeatedly and baselessly questioned the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election and pushed debunked claims of massive voting fraud, including the lie that Dominion Voting Software changed votes.
Following President Biden’s election, West has claimed the US is in an “ideological Civil War” and agreed with a radio host who suggested that an actual civil war would be “worth it.”
He argued Republican states can band together to nullify laws passed by Congress they don’t believe are constitutional.
After the Supreme Court rejected a Texas lawsuit to overturn the 2020 election, West suggested that “perhaps law-abiding states should band together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution.”