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The Texas House votes to impeach Attorney General Ken Paxton

On Saturday the Texas House voted that Paxton’s alleged misconduct makes him unfit to serve as the state’s Attorney General

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Texas state Attorney General Ken Paxton makes a statement at his office in Austin, Texas, Friday, May 26, 2023. On Saturday, May 27 the Texas House of Representatives voted to impeach Paxton, citing misconduct.

Associated Press

After hours of debate on Saturday, members of the Texas House voted to impeach Attorney General Ken Paxton, alleging that he used his status as an elected official to “benefit himself and a key campaign donor,” per The New York Times.

The news: The final vote was 121-23, with two members present but not voting, per CNN. Paxton’s duties as the Attorney General were halted temporarily, and the trial will next head to the Texas Senate, which will vote on whether Paxton will be permanently removed from office.

  • “Attorney General Paxton continuously and blatantly violated laws and procedures,” said Texas Representative David Spiller, via The Texas Tribune. “Today is a very grim and difficult day for this House and for the State of Texas.”

Why? Last week the General Investigating Committee led by Republicans announced that they had been investigating Paxton, also a Republican, filing 20 articles of impeachment against him. The committee alleged that Paxton “broke multiple state laws, misspent office funds, and misused his power to benefit a friend and a political donor,” according to the Tribune.

  • The bulk of the impeachment trial was based on accusations claiming that Paxton retaliated against deputies by firing them. The Hill states that the officers “charged that Paxton illegitimately intervened in litigation by one of his donors, Austin realtor Nate Paul — and that Paul had paid him back by remodeling his house and finding a make-work job for Paxton’s affair partner, a former staffer in his wife’s office.”
  • Paxton had also been under federal investigation for intervening with an FBI investigation, the General Investigating Committee stating that he had even threatened the enemies of his donors, per The Hill.

Paxton’s response: Following the House’s decision to remove him from office, Paxton released a statement on Twitter stating, “The ugly spectacle in the Texas House today confirmed the outrageous impeachment plot against me was never meant to be fair or just. It was a politically motivated sham from the beginning.”

  • He alleged that Speaker Dade Phelan and the rest of the General Committee “refused to consider anything that would interfere with their desired result. They disregarded the law, ignored the facts, and demonstrated contempt for Texas voters.”
  • In his Tweet, Paxton expressed hope that the Senate trial will work out in his favor, saying “I look forward to the quick resolution in the Texas Senate, where I have full confidence the process will be fair and just.”