Historic Texas Impeachment Trial to Start by Aug. 28

Ken Paxton has been suspended as attorney general pending trial's outcome
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 27, 2023 5:11 PM CDT
Updated May 30, 2023 12:32 AM CDT
House Votes to Impeach Texas' Attorney General
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton makes a statement at his office in Austin on Friday.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
UPDATE May 30, 2023 12:32 AM CDT

A historic impeachment trial in Texas to determine whether Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton should be permanently removed from office will begin no later than Aug. 28 in the state Senate, where the jury that would determine his future could include his wife, Sen. Angela Paxton, the AP reports. Setting a schedule was one of the last orders of business lawmakers took Monday during an acrimonious end to this year’s legislative session in Texas, where the impeachment laid bare fractures in America’s biggest red state beyond whether Republicans will oust one of the GOP’s conservative legal stars. Sen. Paxton has not spoken publicly since her husband's impeachment or said whether she will recuse herself from the proceedings; Gov. Greg Abbott has also not commented publicly on Paxton since impeachment proceedings began.

May 27, 2023 5:11 PM CDT

Texas' GOP-run House of Representatives impeached state Attorney General Ken Paxton on Saturday on articles including bribery and abuse of public trust. The decision marks a sudden, historic rebuke of a fellow Republican who rose to be a star of the conservative legal movement despite years of scandal and alleged crimes. The vote triggers Paxton's immediate suspension from office pending the outcome of a trial in the state Senate and empowers Republican Gov. Greg Abbott to appoint someone else as Texas' top lawyer in the interim, the AP reports.

Paxton, who in 2020 asked the US Supreme Court to overturn President Biden's electoral defeat of Donald Trump, becomes only the third sitting official in Texas' nearly 200-year history to have been impeached. He has decried what he called "political theater" based on "hearsay and gossip, parroting long-disproven claims," and said it was an attempt to disenfranchise voters who reelected him in November. "No one person should be above the law, least not the top law enforcement officer of the state of Texas," Rep. David Spiller, a Republican member of the committee that investigated Paxton, said in opening statements.

Rep. Ann Johnson, a Democratic member, told lawmakers that Texas' "top cop is on the take." As the articles of impeachment were laid out, some of the lawmakers shook their heads. Paxton, 60, has been under FBI investigation for years over accusations that he used his office to help a donor and was separately indicted on securities fraud charges in 2015, though he has yet to stand trial. Until this week, his fellow Republicans had taken a muted stance on the allegations. Impeachment requires just a simple majority in the House. The chamber voted to adopt the 20 articles of impeachment 121-23, with three members absent, per the Texas Tribune. (As the House debated, Paxton tweeted.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.