Senate Jury Weighs Fate of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Amid Impeachment Trial

by Lucas Garcia
Impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

The Senate jury in Texas is now in the process of evaluating the impeachment case against Attorney General Ken Paxton, as allegations of corruption that have long plagued the Republican official are laid bare for consideration. The development brings Paxton, whose career spanning three terms has been tainted by criminal charges and scandal, closer to a pivotal moment in his political journey. This significant impeachment process has been led by members of his own party, further intensifying divisions within Republican ranks in the largest conservative state in America. Over the years, Paxton has gained national prominence through his proactive engagement in contentious legal disputes across the country, winning endorsements from former President Donald Trump and far-right elements within the GOP.

As a concluding effort to secure a conviction against Texas’ chief legal officer, the impeachment managers, some of whom were once Paxton’s allies, depicted him as dishonest. They asserted that it is high time for both the state and the Republican Party to disassociate themselves from him. “Failure to hold public office bearers accountable for misuse of their authority effectively renders our checks and balances powerless,” stated Republican State Representative Andrew Murr during his closing remarks.

Additional Context on Ken Paxton

  • The impeachment trial of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is nearing its end: Key Developments and Next Steps.
  • Both Prosecution and Defense Conclude Arguments in Ken Paxton’s Historic Impeachment Trial.
  • Legal Counsel Details Paxton’s Oversight of Investigations Targeting FBI and Judges During Impeachment Proceedings.

Should Paxton be found guilty, he would become the first elected official in Texas to be convicted through impeachment in over a century. A decision could be rendered as early as Friday.

In a vigorous and unyielding counter-argument, Paxton’s attorney, Tony Buzbee, took aim at an expansive range of individuals, both within and outside of the Texas legislative chamber. He derided a Texas Ranger who cautioned Paxton about impending indictment and criticized another accuser who broke down during testimony. Buzbee described the impeachment initiative as a political vendetta spearheaded by established GOP antagonists, highlighting George P. Bush, who contested against Paxton in the 2022 Republican primary, as he vehemently questioned the credibility of FBI agents and attacked one of Texas’ most celebrated political lineages.

“The proceedings that have unfolded are best characterized as a politically motivated witch hunt, emblematic of internal partisan skirmishes within the GOP,” Buzbee contended.

Paxton, who had been largely absent throughout the trial, took his seat at the defense table, intermittently checking his mobile device. His presence did not go unobserved. “His lack of consistent attendance illustrates his belief that he might evade responsibility,” commented Murr.

Across from him sat his wife, State Senator Angela Paxton, who, although mandated to attend the trial in its entirety, is precluded from taking part in any deliberations or casting a vote on her husband’s political future.

In the gallery were three of Paxton’s previous deputies who had reported him to the FBI in 2020, alleging unlawful conduct to aid Austin-based property developer Nate Paul. Their testimonies triggered an ongoing FBI inquiry, irrespective of the trial’s outcome.

Federal prosecutors had gathered evidence before a grand jury in San Antonio in August, according to anonymous sources aware of the situation. One of the witnesses was Drew Wicker, a former aide to Paxton. Wicker indicated that he overheard a contractor discussing renovation costs for Paxton’s Austin residence with someone named “Nate,” presumably referring to Nate Paul. Paul faces his own legal issues; he was indicted in June for providing fraudulent information to banks to secure over $170 million in loans but has pleaded not guilty.

As final arguments closed, the defense asserted either a lack of evidence or insufficient proof to meet the threshold of ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’ In contrast, House impeachment managers presented specific documents and played video clips of testimony from the deputies who had reported Paxton to the FBI.

In the final moments of closing arguments, Republican State Representative Jeff Leach, once a friend and political mentee of Paxton, admitted to a fondness for the Attorney General but insisted that he should be penalized.

The impeachment charges include articles that allege Paxton engaged in an extramarital affair with Laura Olson, an employee of Paul, and accepted bribes in the form of home renovations. A conviction on any of the 16 impeachment articles would require a two-thirds majority from the 30 participating state senators, the majority of whom are Republicans.

The deliberations will take place behind closed doors, and Republican Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has announced that the trial may extend into the weekend if required.

Former President Trump reiterated his support for Paxton, denouncing the impeachment as “disgraceful.”

Paxton is enmeshed in a variety of other legal challenges, including an ongoing federal investigation concerning the same accusations leading to his impeachment. He is also the subject of a state disciplinary proceeding related to his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and is yet to face trial for state securities fraud charges from 2015.

He has pleaded not guilty in the state case, and his legal team has suggested that removal from office might facilitate a plea agreement.

Report by Bleiberg from Dallas, with contributions from Juan A. Lozano of Big Big News in Austin.

For comprehensive coverage on the impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, visit: Big Big News Coverage

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

What is the main focus of the Senate jury in Texas?

The Senate jury in Texas is presently deliberating on the impeachment trial of Attorney General Ken Paxton. He is facing allegations of corruption that have plagued him throughout his three terms in office.

Who is leading the impeachment against Ken Paxton?

The impeachment process against Ken Paxton has been initiated and led by members of his own Republican party. This has resulted in further divisions within the party in the state of Texas.

What would be the historical significance if Paxton is convicted?

If convicted, Ken Paxton would become the first elected official in the state of Texas to be convicted through impeachment in over a century.

What are the allegations against Ken Paxton?

Ken Paxton is accused of multiple instances of corruption, including accepting bribes and engaging in unlawful conduct to aid a property developer. He also faces charges related to an alleged extramarital affair.

How is former President Donald Trump related to this case?

Former President Donald Trump has publicly endorsed Ken Paxton and criticized the impeachment trial, labeling it as “disgraceful.” Paxton has been a vocal supporter of Trump and has been involved in legal battles that align with Trump’s political agenda.

Who are the key individuals involved in the trial apart from Paxton?

Key individuals include Republican State Representative Andrew Murr, who is among the impeachment managers, and Paxton’s attorney Tony Buzbee. State Senator Angela Paxton, Ken Paxton’s wife, is also a mandated attendee but cannot participate in deliberations.

What are the requirements for a conviction?

A conviction would require a two-thirds majority vote from 30 of the 31 state senators participating in the trial. Most of the senators are Republicans.

What other legal challenges does Paxton face?

Apart from the impeachment trial, Paxton is also subject to an ongoing federal investigation concerning similar corruption allegations. He also faces a state disciplinary proceeding over his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and has yet to stand trial for state securities fraud charges dating back to 2015.

Is there a timeline for when the trial might conclude?

While a verdict could be reached as early as Friday, Republican Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has stated that the trial may extend into the weekend if required.

Where can one find comprehensive coverage on this issue?

For a full account of the impeachment proceedings against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, you can visit the Big Big News website at Big Big News Coverage.

More about Impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

  • Comprehensive Coverage of Ken Paxton’s Impeachment Trial
  • Overview of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s Career
  • The Role of Impeachment in American Politics
  • Historical Impeachments in Texas
  • Donald Trump’s Endorsement of Ken Paxton
  • Corruption Allegations Against Public Officials in the United States
  • The Divisions within the Republican Party in Texas
  • Legal Requirements for Impeachment in Texas
  • Federal Investigations into Public Officials

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Sara M September 16, 2023 - 1:01 am

If Paxton is convicted, it’ll be history in the making for sure. Over a century since someone was convicted thru impeachment in Texas? That’s wild.

Linda G September 16, 2023 - 8:26 am

It’s crazy how deep the allegations go. Not just corruption, but affairs and all. What a mess!

Rob H September 16, 2023 - 10:14 am

So, his wife has to attend the whole trial but can’t vote or debate? talk about awkward family dinners.

John D. September 16, 2023 - 2:20 pm

Wow, never thought I’d see the day where a Republican-led Senate is going after one of their own. Party loyalty doesn’t seem what it used to be.

Tim P September 16, 2023 - 3:53 pm

Two-thirds majority is gonna be tough, specially if Dems need 9 Republicans to join them. Waitin’ to see how this unfolds.

Mike K. September 16, 2023 - 6:49 pm

seems like Trump’s still backing his guy. He always knows how to make headlines.


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