Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton faces 20 impeachment counts from the GOP-led Texas House 2023

A GOP-led panel is impeaching Texas’s Republican Attorney General, Ken Paxton, after years of controversy, criminal charges, and corruption allegations.

A Republican-led House investigation committee proposed impeaching Paxton on 20 articles, including bribery, unfitness for office, and abuse of public trust, Thursday.

One of the GOP’s most famous legal opponents, who requested the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory in 2020, might fall suddenly. Texas has impeached two officials in almost 200 years.

The House may vote on the suggestion Friday.

Paxton has been under FBI investigation for years for using his position to aid a contributor. In 2015, he was charged for securities fraud but has not been tried.

Paxton accused Dade Phelan, the House’s “liberal” Republican speaker, of launching the five-member committee’s probe on Tuesday. He accused Phelan of being inebriated during a long session last Friday and demanded his resignation. Phelan’s office dismissed Paxton’s “save face” claim.

“It’s a sad day for Texas as we witness the corrupt political establishment unite in this illegitimate attempt to overthrow the will of the people and disenfranchise the voters of our state,” Paxton said Thursday, calling the committee’s findings “hearsay and gossip, parroting long-disproven claims.”

Since a GOP lawmaker resigned before an expected vote to eject him, Republicans now control 85-64 of the 150-member House chamber, which is needed to impeach.

“The RINOs in the Texas Legislature are now on the same side as Joe Biden” by opposing him.

Paxton served five terms in the House before becoming a state senator, therefore his support is unknown. Texas’ other top Republicans haven’t supported Paxton since Wednesday’s impeachment possibility.

The investigation committee—three Republicans and two Democrats—issued articles of impeachment based on Paxton’s friendship with a rich contributor. They focus on Paxton’s alleged attempts to shield the donor from an FBI inquiry and suppress whistleblower accusations from his employees.

House voting timing is unknown. Phelan’s office declined to comment, and Republican investigating committee leader Rep. Andrew Murr said he had no deadline.

Texas impeachment demands prompt removal pending a Senate trial, unlike Congress. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott may select an interim. Abbott’s administration declined comment on impeachment counts.

Angela, Paxton’s wife, is a senator, hence two-thirds Senate approval is needed for removal. Republican Senate leader Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick declined to comment.

Paxton, 60, faces ouster by GOP lawmakers just seven months after easily winning a third term over challengers, including George P. Bush, who had urged voters to reject a compromised incumbent but found that many didn’t know about Paxton’s litany of alleged misdeeds or dismissed them as political attacks.

“A critical moment for the rule of law and will of Texas voters.”

State law authorizes the House to continue impeachment proceedings after Monday’s normal session. It might possibly reconvene. Senate alternatives are same.

The House committee probe was revealed Tuesday, followed by an unusual public exposure of Paxton’s alleged illegal activities as one of Texas’ most prominent officials the following day.

Paxton’s critics, which now include a growing number of his party members in the Texas Capitol, say the rebuke was years in the making.

He confessed to breaking Texas securities law by recruiting customers without registering as an investment adviser in 2014. A year later, a grand jury in his hometown outside Dallas charged Paxton on felony securities charges for misleading tech company investors. He denies two felony offenses with a five-to-99-year jail term.

He formed a legal defense fund and collected $100,000 from an executive whose firm was under Paxton’s Medicaid fraud probe. An Arizona retiree gave $50,000, and his son Paxton was promoted to a high-ranking job but sacked after exhibiting child pornography in a meeting.

Paxton’s friendship with billionaire contributor Nate Paul, an Austin real estate entrepreneur, is his biggest danger.

In 2020, many of Paxton’s senior aides informed the FBI they were afraid the attorney general was misusing his authority to support Paul over baseless charges of a $200 million property theft plot. Paul’s attorneys deny wrongdoing when the FBI investigated his house in 2019. Paxton informed workers that he had an affair with a Paul employee.

The impeachment charges involve many Paul-related allegations against Paxton. The charges include intervening in foreclosure litigation, inappropriately giving legal opinions to benefit Paul, and terminating, intimidating, and interfering with personnel who reported it. Paul allegedly hired Paxton’s mistress in return for legal advice and paid for pricey Austin house upgrades.

Paxton faces further allegations from his 2015 felony securities fraud conviction, including lying to state investigators.

The eight aides who reported Paxton to the FBI were dismissed or resigned, and four sued under Texas’ whistleblower legislation. Paxton settled for $3.3 million in February. Phelan opposes taxpayer funding of the settlement, which requires Texas House approval.

The House began investigating Paxton shortly after the settlement. The inquiry gave Paxton unusual attention in the Texas Capitol, where many Republicans have been silent about his claims.

Only Gov. James Ferguson in 1917 and state Judge O.P. Carrillo in 1975 were impeached by the Texas House.

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