Impeachment trial of Texas AG Ken Paxton set to begin on Tuesday

 September 4, 2023

Politico reported that the impeachment trial of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is set to begin on Tuesday. 

According to the website, Paxton is only the third Texas official to face impeachment along with the prospect of being removed from office in the state's nearly two-century-long history.

Wife barred from voting in Paxton's trial

Legislators voted overwhelmingly in May to impeach Paxton, paving the way for his trial in the state Senate. Politico noted that although Paxton's wife is a state senator, she will be barred from voting on whether her husband should be convicted.

The website explained that in order to obtain a conviction, at least nine Republican state senators would have to join with the chamber's 12 Democratic members.

The trial will be presided over by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, someone who previously loaned Paxton $125,000 for his reelection campaign.

Federal grand jury has questioned witnesses close to Paxton

The case against the attorney general is focused on his relationship with an Austin real estate developer named Nate Paul.

Paul was indicted earlier this year following allegations that he made false statements in attempting to secure $170 million worth of bank loans.

What's more, The Texas Tribune reported last month that a federal grand jury has been convened in San Antonio and has spoken with witnesses close to Paxton.

Chris Toth formerly served as executive director of the National Association of Attorneys General and is a vocal critic of Paxton. He told Politico that the attorney general has "a vile and insidious level of influence."

Former Texas GOP head downplays parallels with Trump

Meanwhile, Republican political consultant Matt Langston said that Paxton's impeachment is exposing deep divisions within the state's GOP.

"You’re seeing a fracture within the party right now," Langston was quoted as saying. "This is going to impact the leadership and the party for a long time."

Paxton has long been a close ally of former President Donald Trump, and some have compared Paxton's trouble's with those of the former president.

However, former Republican Party of Texas chairman James Dickey argued that there are important differences, saying, "Exclusively, the actions against President Trump are from Democrat elected officials and so it can’t avoid having more of a partisan tone. Therefore, Republican voters have more concern and frustration with it."

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