The Texas House of Representatives is voting to impeach Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton

The Republican-led Texas House of Representatives began debating Saturday afternoon on whether to indict the state’s Republican attorney general, Ken Paxton, following a long string of scandals and possible crimes.

presented to legislators 20 charges against the three-time Attorney General whose antics have enraged Texas Republicans. A vote is expected later on Saturday.

A positive vote would mean Paxton would be suspended as the state’s chief law enforcement officer pending the outcome of a trial in the Texas Senate, with Gov. Greg Abbott (R) an option to appoint an interim attorney general.

However, the timing of a trial would be uncertain as the current Texas legislative session ends on Monday.

A Republican-led investigative committee earlier this week detailed the various ways in which Paxton has been accused of abusing the power of his office through bribery, retaliation and a culture of fear.

The committee on Wednesday recommended indicting Paxton in a hearing that sparked an outraged response from the attorney general, who accused Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan to be a “liberal”. who was drunk at work.

Phelan’s office told local outlet KDFW that the Attorney General was just trying to “save face”.

Meanwhile, Texas Republican Party leader Matt Rinaldi sided with Paxton in the impeachment trial accused Phelan to try to “stop our state’s conservative leanings” by working with the Democrats.

Paxton was a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump and described himself as a conservative culture warrior. He has proven popular with Texas voters. Trump himself threatened state lawmakers if the vote goes against his ally. Write on social media: “I’ll fight you if it is.”

Paxton is accused of using his office to help a political financier, Austin-based real estate developer Nate Paul, navigate legal entanglements in exchange for a costly remodeling of his home for Paxton and a job for a woman with whom Paxton reportedly had an affair.

In 2020, a group of Paxton’s top employees came forward and accused the attorney general of abuse of power. Weeks later, several of them were released. The whistleblowers promptly sued Paxton, and in that case a $3.3 million settlement was reached in February. However, there is tension about how the money will be paid out; Phelan and other lawmakers are against the use of taxpayers’ money to cover up Paxton’s wrongdoing.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks at then-President Donald Trump's rally on Jan. 6, 2021, just before rioters stormed the Capitol.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks at then-President Donald Trump’s rally on Jan. 6, 2021, just before rioters stormed the Capitol.

Jacquelyn Martin via Associated Press

That’s not even the extent of Paxton’s legal woes. In 2015, he was charged with securities fraud, a case that is still ongoing eight years later due to ongoing procedural delays.

Last spring he was slapped a lawsuit of professional misconduct by the Texas Attorney’s Office for his efforts to falsify the results of the 2020 presidential election with alleged evidence of voter fraud. Paxton retaliated by forbidding his staff from speaking at prosecution events. according to the Texas Tribune.

In September, he ran out of his home and jumped into a truck being driven by his wife to avoid being served with a summons to testify in a lawsuit related to one of Texas’ tough anti-abortion laws.

Related Articles

Back to top button