The GOP-controlled Texas House voted 121-23 to adopt 20 articles of impeachment against Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton Saturday afternoon.
“I am beyond grateful to have the support of millions of Texans who recognize that what we just witnessed is illegal, unethical, and profoundly unjust,” Paxton wrote in a tweet shortly after the vote, also appending a longer statement.
“I look forward to a quick resolution in the Texas Senate, where I have full confidence the process will be fair and just.”
Today’s proceedings stemmed from an investigation targeting the three-term official’s request for $3.3 million to pay a settlement to former employees who accused him of wrongdoing. The fired employees accused him of using his office to benefit a campaign donor, Nate Paul, as TheBlaze reported.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called Texas’ top law enforcement officer “the strongest conservative AG in the country” in a series of tweets defending Paxton prior to Saturday’s vote.
“No attorney general has battled the abuses of the Biden admin more ferociously — and more effectively — than has Paxton,” Sen. Cruz wrote.
According to Cruz it should be left to the courts to sort out Paxton’s “legal challenges.” In his view, legislators should “respect the choice of the Texas voters” since “virtually all” of the information in the articles of impeachment were public prior to voters reelecting him.
1/x What is happening to @KenPaxtonTX is a travesty.
For the last nine years, Ken has been the strongest conservative AG in the country. Bar none. No attorney general has battled the abuses of the Biden admin more ferociously—and more effectively—than has Paxton.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) May 27, 2023
Former President Trump defended Paxton and criticized Texas Republican Speaker of the House Dade Phelan (R) in a series of posts on Truth Social.
Trump called Phelan “barely a Republican” who “failed the test on voter integrity.”
He praised Paxton as “one of the most hard working and effective” attorneys general in the state.
Prior to the vote, Trump vowed to “fight” Republicans in the Texas House who allowed the process to move forward.
Today’s impeachment was the first of its kind since 1975, according to the Texas Tribune. The referral to the Senate includes charges of bribery, abuse of office, and obstruction.
In the Senate trial, senators serve as jurors while House members will present the case as impeachment managers, the outlet also explained. Paxton’s permanent removal and ban from holding future office would require the support of two-thirds of senators.
According to Texas state law, Paxton must step aside from his duties while he awaits a trial in the Senate.