Timeline of Events Culminating in the Acquittal of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in His Impeachment Proceedings

by Gabriel Martinez

This article outlines the sequence of events that concluded with the exoneration of Ken Paxton, the three-term Attorney General for the State of Texas, in his Senate impeachment trial. The trial spanned from September 5 to September 16, following a substantial impeachment vote in May by the Texas House of Representatives, which is predominantly Republican. This vote had resulted in Paxton, aged 60, being temporarily suspended from his official duties. With the acquittal, Paxton is now able to reassume his role as Attorney General.


Ken Paxton assumes the position of Texas Attorney General after having served over a decade in the Texas Legislature. Shortly thereafter, he faces indictment on felony securities charges by a grand jury in his home district near Dallas for allegedly misleading investors in a technology startup. Though he pleads not guilty to two felony charges, a trial has yet to occur. Paxton establishes a legal defense fund, accepting $100,000 from an executive whose firm was under scrutiny by his office for Medicaid fraud. An Arizona retiree donates an additional $50,000 to Paxton’s defense fund, and Paxton subsequently employs the donor’s son in a senior position, a role that ultimately ends in termination due to the individual displaying child pornography in a work meeting.


Several senior aides to Paxton report to the FBI their suspicions that he is abusing his office’s power to aid Nate Paul, an Austin-based real estate developer and wealthy donor facing challenges with his real estate holdings. The FBI initiates an investigation and conducts a search of Paul’s residence. Despite these accusations, Paxton and his legal team strongly deny any misconduct. In an additional twist, Paxton, who has been active on the national stage advocating conservative Christian legal causes, admits to having had an extramarital affair with a woman subsequently revealed to be an employee of Paul’s. Nate Paul, in a deposition, claims to have employed the woman based on Paxton’s recommendation. Of the aides who reported Paxton to the FBI, all either resign or are terminated, with four subsequently filing lawsuits under the Texas whistleblower statute.

Paxton agrees to a $3.3 million settlement of the whistleblower lawsuits, a sum that necessitates legislative approval. Meanwhile, officials at the U.S. Department of Justice assume control of the corruption investigation, taking it out of the hands of Texas federal prosecutors.

May 23, 2023

Members of the Republican-controlled House Committee on General Investigating disclose that a covert corruption investigation into Paxton has been underway for several months.

May 24, 2023

The committee’s investigative report accuses Paxton of committing a range of crimes during his tenure, including felonies. The report enumerates various allegations related to his relationship with Nate Paul, including alleged attempts to manipulate foreclosure lawsuits and the issuance of legal opinions designed to benefit Paul. Additionally, the charges include bribery allegations connected to Paul’s employment of the woman with whom Paxton had an affair, as well as Paul’s supposed funding of lavish renovations to one of Paxton’s residences. Paxton vehemently denies all allegations. The committee concludes the hearing without taking any immediate action or indicating if impeachment or censure recommendations will follow.

May 25, 2023

The committee unanimously votes to recommend Paxton’s impeachment on 20 articles, including bribery, unfitness for public office, and abuse of public trust.

May 26, 2023

The House committee reveals that Paxton’s own request for state funds to settle the whistleblower lawsuit was the catalyst for their impeachment recommendation. Republican Speaker Dade Phelan suggests that taxpayers should not bear the burden of the $3.3 million settlement. Paxton appeals to his supporters to protest when the full House considers the impeachment proceedings. He dismisses these proceedings as “political theater” designed to do long-term harm to the Texas House of Representatives, reinforcing his previous claims that this is a campaign to disenfranchise his voter base.

May 27, 2023

The full 149-member Texas House of Representatives casts a vote to impeach Paxton, resulting in his automatic suspension from office, pending a Senate trial.

June 21, 2023

The Texas Senate, controlled by Republicans, elects to proceed with a trial on 16 of the 20 impeachment articles starting September 5. Three articles concerning securities fraud and another related to his ethics filings are set aside. Of the 31 Senators, Paxton’s ideological allies are well-represented, including his wife, Senator Angela Paxton, who is permitted to attend but not participate or vote in the proceedings.

Sept. 5, 2023

The impeachment trial against Paxton commences in the Texas Senate.

Sept. 15, 2023

After the presentation of closing arguments by the House impeachment managers and Paxton’s defense team, the Texas Senators commence their deliberations on the 16 articles of impeachment and the potential removal of Paxton from office.

Sept. 16, 2023

The Senate concludes its deliberations and votes to acquit Paxton on all 16 articles of impeachment under consideration. The remaining four articles are dismissed. This acquittal enables Paxton to resume his position as Attorney General after a three-month hiatus.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ken Paxton Impeachment Timeline

What is the main focus of this timeline?

The main focus of this timeline is to provide a detailed account of the key events leading to the acquittal of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in his impeachment trial conducted by the Texas Senate.

Who is Ken Paxton?

Ken Paxton is a three-term Attorney General for the State of Texas. He has previously served in the Texas Legislature and has been a notable figure on the national stage for advocating conservative Christian legal causes.

What were the primary allegations against Ken Paxton?

The primary allegations against Ken Paxton included bribery, abuse of public trust, unfitness for public office, and a range of felonies related to his dealings with Austin real estate developer Nate Paul.

When did Ken Paxton’s impeachment trial begin and end?

Ken Paxton’s impeachment trial in the Texas Senate began on September 5, 2023, and concluded on September 16, 2023, with his acquittal.

What was the role of the Texas House of Representatives in this case?

The Texas House of Representatives voted to impeach Paxton on May 27, 2023, after a unanimous committee recommendation. This led to his automatic suspension from office and initiated the Senate trial.

How did the Senate trial conclude?

The Texas Senate voted to acquit Ken Paxton on all 16 of the 20 articles of impeachment that were under consideration. The remaining four articles were dismissed, allowing him to return to his duties as Attorney General.

What was the whistleblower lawsuit against Paxton?

A whistleblower lawsuit was filed by four former aides who accused Paxton of misusing his office’s powers to benefit wealthy donor Nate Paul. The lawsuit was settled for $3.3 million, pending legislative approval.

How many articles of impeachment were initially filed against Paxton?

Initially, 20 articles of impeachment were recommended against Paxton, but the Senate chose to proceed with a trial on only 16 of those articles.

Did any family members of Paxton participate in the Senate trial?

Yes, Paxton’s wife, Senator Angela Paxton, was permitted to attend the Senate trial, although she was not allowed to participate or vote.

What happens to Ken Paxton after the acquittal?

After the acquittal, Ken Paxton is cleared to resume his duties as Attorney General for the State of Texas.

More about Ken Paxton Impeachment Timeline

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TimothyS September 17, 2023 - 12:48 am

interesting how Paxton was almost convicted for 20 articles of impeachment but only had to face 16 in the end. Makes you wonder what happens behind closed doors.

JohnDoe123 September 17, 2023 - 2:34 pm

Is it just me or does it seem like the Texas Senate wasn’t so eager to get rid of Paxton? kinda fishy if you ask me.

Mike J September 17, 2023 - 4:48 pm

Wow, this timeline is pretty detailed. Never knew Paxton’s journey had so many twists and turns. Legal stuff gets complicated, huh?

Linda Q September 17, 2023 - 6:24 pm

Must be tough being in the public eye and having all your dirty laundry aired. But if you’re in a position of power you should be held accountable, right?

Sarah P September 17, 2023 - 8:35 pm

Comprehensive read, definitely. Can’t believe it took so long for the trial to happen. These politicians, they always find a way to survive, don’t they?


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