Texas House to vote Saturday on impeaching Attorney General Ken Paxton

Austin, Texas – The GOP-led Texas House of Representatives will introduce a resolution of impeachment on Saturday. Attorney General Ken PaxtonThursday, according to a committee memo Filed 20 articles of impeachment against him.

Debate on the impeachment resolution will begin at 2 p.m. ET, according to the House Investigative Committee. The committee has proposed four hours of debate, divided equally between impeachment supporters and supporters, plus 40 minutes for committee members’ opening arguments and 20 minutes for closing statements.

Impeachment of Paxton requires a simple majority of House members. Republicans hold an 85-64 majority in the House — a significant majority, but recently reduced from the party’s more than 40-seat lead in 2017.

The House Investigative Committee on Thursday recommended 20 articles of impeachment against Paxton, including charges of bribery, obstruction of justice and abuse of public trust. Paxton has been under FBI investigation for years over allegations that he used his office to help donors and was separately indicted in 2015 on securities fraud charges. CBS News Texas.

Paxton spoke to reporters Friday but did not directly respond to any of the allegations against him. Instead, he accused state House Republicans of being “determined to ignore the law.” He also accused him of “setting out to do exactly what Joe Biden has been hoping to accomplish since his first day in office: sabotage my job, our job, as attorney general in Texas.” Do it.”

Texas Attorney General Impeachment Explainer
FILE – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. After years of legal and ethics scandals surrounding Texas’ Republican Attorney General Paxton, the state’s GOP-controlled House of Representatives is headed for an impeachment vote that could quickly throw off. him from the office.

Jacqueline Martin/AP

The investigation into Paxton began in March after he asked the House to fund a $3.3 million whistleblower lawsuit settlement, according to a memo from Republican Rep. Andrew Murr, chairman of the investigative committee.

Paxton is a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump and has filed a petition. A lawsuit to overturn the December 2020 presidential election The result in key battleground states, which was the latter. Thrown out by the Supreme Court.

Paxton on Thursday Tweeted a statement which accused the investigative committee of “using its unsubstantiated report to overturn the results of a free and fair election” from the Texas House. Chris Hilton, the attorney general’s chief prosecutor, said Thursday that the state House cannot move forward with impeachment on charges that date back to the last election. In Friday’s memo, the House Investigative Committee said this so-called “doctrine of amnesty” “does not apply to impeachment.”

Paxton won a third term in November, defeating Democrat Rochelle Garza by nearly 10 points.

If the House votes to impeach Paxton, he will face trial in the Texas state Senate. According to the memo, the House will appoint its own members as “impeachment administrators” for the Senate trial.

The 2023 Texas legislative session ends on May 29 — a date known as “sign die,” or when all legislation must be sent to the governor’s desk. Although usually only the governor can bring legislators back into special session. The Texas Constitution calls for a Senate. The impeachment proceedings may continue even after the end of the session.

Republicans hold a 19-12 majority in the Senate, and a two-thirds majority is needed to remove him from office. But under the Texas state constitution, if Paxton is impeached, he would be immediately suspended, pending a case in the Senate.

The Senate has expelled lawmakers only twice, Gov. James Ferguson in 1917 and District Judge OP Carrillo in 1975. Former state Rep. Sherry Greenberg, assistant dean at the University of Texas-Austin’s Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, called the impeachment “earth-shattering” on Friday.

“It’s really started a tidal wave,” Greenberg said. “It’s rare, we’ve only seen a couple of times in Texas history, the impeachment of a public official.”

The recommendation to introduce articles of impeachment against Paxton comes weeks after the House of Representatives took the unusual step. Voting unanimously to oust Rep. Byron Slayton, who resigned a day ago.. The House Investigating Committee, the same committee that investigated Paxton, found that he had engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior with a 19-year-old intern.

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