Texas Republican Party chairman Allen West falsely suggested that Texas could secede from the United States and become an independent country, a CNN KFile review of his comments in recent months shows.
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.”
Experts, however, say that 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.
“I do support the will of the people to be heard and allow the people to vote on this,” said West in the same December interview. “But I will tell you my official position is that I want Texas to lead, not so much 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 Joe 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.”
While West denied that he called for secession — and accused his critics of advocating for secession — he has left the door open to Texas secession beyond supporting a referendum election.
“Truthfully, I would rather Texas lead than secede — if the moment does come when things have gone so bad — but I don’t think we’re going to get to that point,” he told an audience in January.
The Texas Republican Party did not return requests for comment.
West said the US is in an ‘ideological civil war’
Speaking on the Truth and Liberty broadcast on January 4 –two days before the Capitol insurrection which would leave five people dead–West said the US was already engaged in an “ideological civil war.”
“I heard one person say, ‘but man, this can cause us a civil war,’” the host, Andrew Wommack, argued. “And the other person says, ‘well, we’ve already fought one. Was it worth it? Was it worth it to free the slaves? “Is it worth it to save our Constitution?’ You can’t judge what’s right. Based on how other people are going to respond. You just have to do what’s right. And face the consequences.”
“No, you’re, you’re absolutely right,” West responded. “And again, that is the mentality that the left has. The left is banking on the fact that they’re afraid to do it. Because they, they know that we’ll go into the streets and we’ll do all of these different things. But again, we’re already in an ideological civil war, whether you want it or not.”
“When you look at what has happened out in Portland, guess what, they’ve been rioting, they’ve been tearing up neighborhoods,” he added. “If you look at Inauguration Day of 2017, they were in Washington, DC burning up cars and rioting. We should have stopped it then. So either we stop it now, or it’s going to be like a cancer that metastasizes, and eventually it’ll kill the host.”
In at least one interview in November, West pushed the baseless conspiracy that Dominion Voting Systems changed votes to ensure a Biden victory. Dominion Voting Systems denies this and has sued Fox News, Rudy Giuliani and attorney Sidney Powell for pushing falsehoods about voting fraud in the election.
“I think we’re also going to finally get the evidence,” West said when speaking on Dominion. “And the understanding is that there were states, there were votes that were, tampered with affected, shifted, changed, whatever you want to call it
West said that states don’t need to follow laws they deem unconstitutional
In other interviews, West contended that states could choose not to follow executive orders or even federal laws they deem unconstitutional.
“I think it was North or South Dakota, this constitutional nullification,” West said in February 2021. “Because we have to have state legislatures that say, look, if you are signing executive orders that are not constitutionally sound, we’re not obligated. We’re not going to follow these things. So we want you to go through the right process.”
“We want you to establish laws, but even still, if there are laws that you’re looking to implement…which would undermine our Second Amendment……would nationalize elections under the control of the federal government,” he said. “We don’t want those things to happen.”
In March, the North Dakota State House passed a resolution saying the state would only follow laws they deemed constitutional. In February, the South Dakota House introduced a bill saying the state could nullify executive orders.
“I think that we do have that power within our hands, to just nullify a lot of these things,” West added, saying Republican states could form together to nullify laws. “And that sends a powerful message back.”