Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton impeached

The Texas House voted 121-23 to impeach Attorney General Ken Paxton Saturday. Paxton is suspended from office until the result of a trial in the Senate.

His impeachment is the first in nearly 40 years in Texas.

The Texas House Committee on General Investigating, made up of three Republicans and two Democrats, unanimously drafted 20 articles of impeachment against Paxton for years of abuse of power, bribery, and other allegations. 

The investigation stems from the proposed $3.3 million whistleblower settlement with former employees of Paxton who said they were victims of retaliation.

Central to the case is Nate Paul, a Paxton political donor under federal investigation, with claims that Paxton provided him documents that the FBI and DPS did not want released.

They also said Paxton hired a lawyer with tax dollars who had little experience, created a made up title, and obtained dozens of court records in reference to an investigation about the Paxton donor.

On Friday, Paxton said this impeachment push was by corrupt politicians to "help President Biden." 

"Every politician that supports this deceitful attempt will inflict lasting damage on the credibility of the Texas House which I served in," he said. 


Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asks supporters to peacefully rally to protest vote to impeach

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton urged his supporters to protest at the state Capitol when Republicans in the House of Representatives take up historic impeachment proceedings that threaten to oust him.

Saturday, the committee presented their evidence, then House members debated for hours. The impeachment hearing lasted three hours and 43 minutes.

The Republican-led committee revealed stunning new information during their opening statement. 

Fort Worth Republican Charlie Geren, who is on the committee, started by saying Paxton allegedly threatened multiple Republican members. 

"Less than an hour after the papers were put on the desk, are you aware the attorney general himself called members of this House while they were sitting at their desk and threatened them," he said. "God bless the senators, I don’t know how long it will be if this passes, they will have to put up the same intimidation tactics from a man who does not belong in office." 

It was also revealed that a staffer who was with Paxton when he was getting renovations to his home reportedly overheard that Paul, the Paxton donor, was footing the bill. 

"The whistleblowers come forward and disclose their information. It is after that, this young man is offered a promotion. He declines and leaves the office. After he left, he continued to get his stipend and a check from Ken Paxton’s campaign for $250 a month. He calls repeatedly saying he does not want this money. It goes on for about four months," said Rep. Ann Johnson (D - Houston).

A simple majority vote in the House was all that was necessary to impeach Paxton, meaning only about a dozen of the more than 80 Republicans needed to join Democrats. It ended up being a vote of 121-23, with the final vote of 121 ayes being more lopsided than expected.

Tony Tinderholt, of Arlington, said the process was rushed. 

"We have decided our chamber is nothing more than a weapon to wield against political opponents. This body has afforded more time to debate tampon tax than whether to impeach the highest law enforcement officer in the state," he said.

No Republican who voted against impeachment spoke to the criminality of what Paxton is accused of doing. 

"I am opposed to this resolution, not because I am convinced of the attorney general’s innocence, but because of the leadership of this body made no attempts to adequately document his guilt," Rep. Brian Harrison said. "Nor demonstrate, to my satisfaction, that this is anything more than a sham railroading of a political enemy."

A handful of Democrats spoke during the debate. Rep. Tony Canales said this wasn’t about politics, but about right vs. wrong.

"There’s never a wrong time to do the right thing," he said.

Now that Paxton is impeached, he is suspended from office pending a trial in the Senate.

Senators will act as jurors and decide whether to remove Paxton from office. 

The Senate has until the end of session Monday to set a date for the trial. 

If the Senate's leader, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, does not do that, Governor Greg Abbott will have the power to call senators back.

If he doesn't take action, and we have heard nothing from the governor on this matter to this point, then the power will be back in the hands of Lt. Gov. Patrick. 


AG Paxton's team says impeachment would violate Texas law, but committee says it doesn't apply here

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s team claims impeaching him based on the allegations of the proposed $3.3 million whistleblower settlement with former employees would violate state law.

Paxton's office released statement after the vote that the "politically motivated investigation against Attorney General Paxton is predicated on long-disproven claims grounded in hearsay and gossip."

Paxton also tweeted a statement, saying: "I look forward to a quick resolution in the Texas Senate, where I have full confidence the process will be fair and just."

The Texas House has only previously impeached a sitting official twice: a state judge in 1975 and Governor "Pa" Ferguson in 1917.