Impeachment Trial of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Begins in State Senate
The impeachment trial of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is set to commence on Tuesday in the state Senate. Paxton, a Republican who has aligned himself with former President Donald Trump, stands accused of repeatedly abusing his office to assist a donor.
Paxton has faced several scandals since assuming office in 2015, including being indicted on securities fraud charges and facing a federal investigation into allegations of accepting bribes and misusing his authority. The House GOP impeached Paxton in May after he requested $3.3 million in state funds for a settlement with whistleblowers who accused him of abuse of office and bribery.
With the trial taking place in the Republican-controlled state Senate, Paxton finds himself on friendlier ground. He counts several conservative allies, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who will preside over the trial. The proceedings are expected to last two or three weeks and will encompass the reading of the articles of impeachment, opening statements from both sides, presentation of evidence and witnesses, and closing arguments.
To secure a conviction, 21 votes from the 30 eligible state senators are required, and with all 12 Democrats expected to vote against Paxton, he would need at least nine of the 18 Republicans to also vote against him. Notably, Paxton’s wife, Angela, who is a member of the Senate, will not be allowed to vote but will sit in as a member of the court.
Leading Paxton’s defense is Tony Buzbee, the attorney who recently represented the women accusing NFL quarterback Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct. Paxton vehemently denies any wrongdoing and has labeled his impeachment as a politically motivated sham.
Former President Trump, who has voiced his support for Paxton, criticized the Republicans who impeached him. It remains to be seen how the trial will unfold and what the ultimate outcome will be for Texas’ Attorney General.
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