Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Acquitted by State Senate in Rare Impeachment Trial

The Texas State Senate has voted to acquit Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton on all 16 articles of impeachment, allowing him to remain in office.

The vote came Saturday after a two-week trial and days of deliberations. All but two of the 18 Republican senators taking part in the vote — not including Paxton’s wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton, who was not allowed to vote — voted to acquit Paxton, 60, on all 16 articles of impeachment, according to Associated Press. The Attorney General was not present at the sentencing.

He did issue a statement via x after his acquittal. “Today the truth prevailed. I have said many times: Seek the truth! And that is what has been achieved,” Paxton said in part.

No article received more than 14 votes to convict Paxton, of which 21 were needed, according to Texas Tribune.

Paxton, who became the state’s chief legal officer in 2015, has been suspended since May, when the Texas House of Representatives impeached him in a bipartisan 121-23 vote on the recommendation of a Republican-led investigative committee.

He became only the third person to be impeached by the Texas Legislature and the second incumbent statewide. (Democratic governor James E. Ferguson was impeached and removed from office in 1917.)

“The ugly spectacle in the Texas House today confirmed that the outrageous impeachment conspiracy against me was never meant to be fair or just,” Paxton said at the time, according to NBC News. “It was a politically motivated scam from the beginning.”

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Ken Paxton.

Drew Angerer/Getty

Paxton’s case was sent to the state Senate for a trial — which began Sept. 5 — to determine whether he should be removed from office. Closing statements were made on Friday.

To convict Paxton, the state Senate — made up of 19 Republicans and 12 Democrats — needed a two-thirds majority. Although barred from voting, Senator Angela Paxton still had to attend, adding an additional hurdle to the conviction.

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Paxton’s impeachment in May came after he faced multiple counts of impeachment that included allegations of bribery and securities fraud dating back to 2015, the year he took office. Paxton is accused of persuading investors to buy shares in the startup without disclosing that he would be compensated.

He was also accused by four former staff members of using his power and position to protect Nate Paul, an Austin real estate developer, friend and political donor. In June, Paul was charged with making false statements to banks.

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Attorney Tony Buzbee speaks and listens as the former First Assistant Attorney General of Texas testifies during the trial of former Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on September 6, 2023 in Austin, Texas

A former first assistant Texas attorney general testifies during the trial of former Texas attorney general Ken Paxton on September 6.

Brandon Bell/Getty

Texas House investigators alleged that Paxton committed at least three crimes while helping Paul, according to Texas Tribune. Paxton is also accused of spending $72,000 on staff work for Paul and giving the developer an internal FBI document that revealed the investigation into him.

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It is also alleged that Paul gave a job to a woman who was in a relationship with Paxton so that she could provide legal assistance. Investigators claimed the affair ended in 2019 when Paxton’s wife found out about it. However, the affair reportedly “continued and is ongoing again until 2020,” PBS writes.

Categories: Trends
Source: HIS Education

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