Texas AG Paxton acquitted on all counts following two-week impeachment trial in Texas Senate

September 17, 2023
Ben Marquis

The Republican-controlled Texas House voted overwhelmingly in May to impeach Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton on a host of allegations of bribery, corruption, and official misconduct.

On Saturday, however, the two-week impeachment trial in the Republican-controlled Texas Senate was concluded with Paxton being acquitted on all of the 16 articles of impeachment pressed against him, Breitbart reported.

Paxton, who had been automatically suspended from office after the House approved the impeachment articles in May, was immediately reinstated to his position as the state's attorney general following the acquittal on all charges.

Acquitted on all counts

The Texas House voted in May to approve 20 articles of impeachment against AG Paxton that included allegations of bribery, conspiracy, disregard of official duty, false statements, and misuse of public resources, among other things.

Four of those articles against Paxton were set aside in abeyance by the Texas Senate, and those articles were ultimately dismissed by a vote of 19-11 after the Senate had acquitted Paxton of the 16 articles that were the focus of the two-week trial.

Following the conclusion of arguments and witness testimony by both sides, Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presided over the Senate trial, reminded the senators acting as jurors that the impeachment articles were not "divisible."

"This means the senators must consider each allegation in each article and determine whether the managers have proved each allegation in an article beyond a reasonable doubt before they can consider whether an article warrants removal from office. Then and only then may an article be sustained," he explained.

With that instruction in mind, the Senate then proceeded to acquit Paxton on each of the 16 individual articles against him.

Paxton denounced "sham impeachment" following acquittal

The Texas Tribune reported that none of the 16 articles of impeachment received more than 14 votes, well short of the 21 votes needed for conviction, and only two of the Senate's 19 Republicans voted against AG Paxton on any of the articles.

An understandably defiant Paxton issued a statement following his acquittal and said, "The sham impeachment coordinated by the Biden Administration with liberal House Speaker Dade Phelan and his kangaroo court has cost taxpayers millions of dollars, disrupted the work of the Office of Attorney General and left a dark and permanent stain on the Texas House."

"The weaponization of the impeachment process to settle political differences is not only wrong, it is immoral and corrupt," he added.

Will soon face criminal trial and could be federally indicted

To be sure, the Tribune noted that while Paxton survived the impeachment effort to remove him from office and has now been reinstated as the Texas attorney general, he is not quite out of the legal woods just yet.

He will soon face a criminal trial on allegations of securities fraud that date back to 2015 -- the subject of the four articles that were held in abeyance and subsequently dismissed by the Senate during the impeachment trial.

Paxton is also reportedly the subject of a federal investigation by the Justice Department, in which a grand jury is said to have been empaneled in San Antonio, and could ultimately be federally indicted over some of the same allegations of misconduct for which he was just acquitted by the Texas Senate.

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