This Thursday, the Texas House General Investigating Committee recommended that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton be impeached due to a plethora of abuses he is alleged to have committed while in office.
The committee filed a total of 20 articles of impeachment against Paxton, ranging from obstruction of justice to taking bribes. Many of the articles involve Paxton misusing his public office to support the interests of Nate Paul, an Austin real estate developer and prominent donor to Paxton’s campaigns.
Paxton allegedly intervened in a lawsuit involving Paul and a nonprofit, despite the fact that Paxton has not intervened in similar cases in the past. In exchange for the legal intervention, Paul allegedly provided Paxton with campaign donations, paid for renovations to Paxton’s multimillion dollar home, and hired Paxton’s alleged mistress.
Separate articles of impeachment filed Thursday also allege that Paxton terminated without good cause or due process employees who had blown the whistle on Paxton’s abuse of power.
In addition to the illegal activity laid out in the articles of impeachment, Paxton has also been under a separate federal indictment for the past 8 years. In 2015, a grand jury indicted Paxton on securities fraud allegedly committed while he was a member of the House of Representatives.
Apart from his legal troubles, Paxton has spent his tenure as attorney general attacking public schools, undermining the integrity of our state’s elections, and denying basic rights to LGBTQIA+ Texans. Paxton moved to ban mask mandates by local government entities, including public schools, at the height of the pandemic in 2020. He has also joined lawsuits opposing student debt relief at the federal level. Paxton has opposed same-sex marriage and fought to deny life-saving, gender-affirming care to transgender children.
Last but not least, Paxton worked to overturn the results of the 2020 election, spoke at the Jan. 6, 2021 rally that incited an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, and has continued to deny that President Joe Biden won the 2020 election.
The House General Investigating Committee, which is composed of three Republicans and two Democrats, voted unanimously to recommend that Paxton, a Republican, be impeached. After the impeachment recommendation was announced, Paxton released a statement in which he erroneously stated that liberals were in control of the Texas House.
The Texas House requires a majority vote to impeach Paxton. According to reports from those familiar with the situation, the House could vote as soon as Saturday on whether to impeach Paxton.
If the House votes to impeach, Paxton would be tried by the Senate and temporarily removed from office until the conclusion of the trial. If two-thirds of the Senate voted in favor of impeachment, Paxton would be permanently removed from office.