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

House members will have to go on the record Saturday about if they think Attorney General Ken Paxton should be impeached for abuse of power. 

In a speech Friday, Paxton called House members corrupt and appeared to think the House will impeach him.

He stuck to his talking points on the eve of an impeachment vote against him, calling it a scheme by corrupt politicians. 

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

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.

The investigators said Paxton provided documents to a political donor 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. 

With his job hanging in the balance, Paxton said during his statement that the claims are false.

But he refused to answer any reporter questions.


Why Texas’ GOP-controlled House wants to impeach Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton

After years of legal and ethical scandals swirling around Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton, the state’s GOP-controlled House of Representatives has moved toward an impeachment vote that could quickly throw him from office.

On Saturday, the committee will lay out their evidence for about an hour, then House members will debate for four hours. 

A simple majority vote in the House will impeach Paxton, meaning only about a dozen of the more than 80 Republicans need to join Democrats. 

Rockwall Republican Justin Holland called the allegations troubling. 

"My gut feel is that the votes might be there. I know a lot of people haven’t made up their decision, including me," Rep. Holland said.

If the House impeaches, Paxton would be suspended from office pending a trial in the Senate.

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

And if that happens, it’s unknown if Paxton's wife, State Senator Angela Paxton, of McKinney, would recuse herself.

"It’s definitely worthy of the debate and I understand that argument that the voters voted Attorney General Paxton back into office, but the findings, if you watch four hours of testimony and read the transcript we were given, it’s very troubling the highest law enforcement officer in Texas is engaged in the many items presented to us," Holland added.


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.

Waxahachie Republican Brian Harrison did not say how he would vote while talking with conservative radio show host Mark Davis on Friday, but is concerned with the process. 

"Supposedly this thing started at most two months ago, in secret, to examine this $3M settlement. That’s a legitimate issue for the legislature to be concerned about being the fiduciaries of taxpayer money but process matters and optics matter and perceptions matter," he said. "And if the Texas House is going to do something so consequential, it can even be a whiff of this being a politically motivated issue."

All the House members cards will be on the table Saturday. 

Paxton invited his supporters to "peacefully" protest at the Texas Capitol before the vote. 

The Texas Democratic Party is also telling their supporters to pack the House gallery.