Texas Senators to Vote on Impeachment of AG Ken Paxton

14:24 16.09.2023

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been acquitted of the first five impeachment articles filed against him by the Texas Senate. The vote for the first three cases was 14 in favor of conviction and 16 against, falling short of the required 21 votes needed to convict Paxton on each article. Republican Sens. Robert Nichols and Kelly Hancock joined all 12 Democrats in voting for conviction. The fourth impeachment article saw a vote of 2 to 24, with only Democratic Sens. Robert Gutierrez and Borris Miles voting to convict. The fifth article also resulted in a "not guilty" verdict after a vote of 13 to 17. The Texas Senate convened at 10:30 a.m. central time to vote and will continue to consider the remaining 11 articles of impeachment. The jury of 30 senators, most of whom are Republicans, deliberated for about eight hours behind closed doors. A two-thirds majority is required to convict Paxton on any of the 16 articles, which accuse him of bribery, corruption, and unfitness for office.

Paxton is facing allegations of misusing his political power to benefit real estate developer Nate Paul. His opponents claim that he accepted a bribe by hiring Paul. During closing arguments, Republican state Rep. Andrew Murr, one of the impeachment managers, stated, "If we don't keep public officials from abusing the powers of their office, then frankly no one can." Paxton's attorneys argue that the impeachment effort is a partisan fight within the Republican Party and a political witch hunt.

Paxton was also previously indicted in June for allegedly making false statements to banks. He has been suspended from office pending the trial's outcome and was only required to attend the proceedings once, during closing arguments. His wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton, was present throughout the trial but was prohibited from participating in debate or voting on the outcome.

The Senate vote could be a slow and public process, as each article of impeachment will receive a separate vote. With a 19-12 Republican majority in the Senate, all Democrats would need nine Republicans to join them in order to convict Paxton. The trial has exposed divisions within the Texas Republican Party, with social conservatives backing Paxton and traditional conservatives criticizing his actions.

This impeachment trial marks only the third time in Texas history that senators have been asked to consider expelling an elected official from office. If convicted on any article, Paxton will be permanently removed from his position as attorney general. A subsequent vote would determine if he is barred for life from holding any statewide elected position in Texas.

/ Saturday, September 16, 2023, 2:24 PM /

themes:  Texas

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