Republicans led the vote in the House of Representatives to impeach the Lone Star State’s top attorney

By Paul Farrell for Dailymail.Com and Associated Press 11:02 PM 27 May 2023, updated 11:14 PM 27 May 2023

Texas lawmakers voted Saturday to indict Attorney General Ken Paxton. Paxton’s three terms in the Lone State State were riddled with corruption allegations from both sides. Earlier on Saturday, ex-President Donald Trump declared that he would “fight”. all Republicans who voted to impeach Paxton

The Texas GOP-led House of Representatives on Saturday indicted Attorney General Ken Paxton on articles including bribery and abuse of public trust, a sudden, historic rebuke from a fellow Republican who has risen to stardom in the conservative right-wing movement despite years of scandals and alleged crimes .

The vote results in Paxton’s immediate impeachment pending the outcome of a state Senate trial and authorizes Republican Gov. Greg Abbott to appoint someone else to be Texas’ top attorney in the meantime.

The vote marks an abrupt fall for one of the Republicans’ most prominent right-wing campaigners, who in 2020 asked the US Supreme Court to overturn President Joe Biden’s election defeat by Donald Trump. Paxton is only the third sitting official in Texas’ nearly 200-year history to face impeachment.

The FBI has been investigating Paxton for years over allegations that he used his office to help a donor. In 2015, Paxton was separately charged with securities fraud, although he has not yet been brought to trial. Until this week, his fellow Republicans had taken a cautious stance on the allegations.

Paxton, 60, condemned what he described as “political theatre” based on “hearsay and gossip and parroting claims long since disproved” and said it was an attempt to disenfranchise voters who reelected him in November had.

It’s unclear where the Attorney General was on Saturday, but he shared statements from supporters on Twitter during the House trial.

Attorney General Ken Paxton’s three terms in office at the Lone State State have been riddled with allegations of corruption from both sides. Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan scheduled a debate Saturday afternoon on whether to impeach and suspend Paxton

“No one should be above the law, especially the chief police officer of the state of Texas,” said Republican Rep. David Spiller, a Republican member of the committee investigating Paxton, in his opening statement. Rep. Ann Johnson, a Democratic congressman, told congressmen that “Texas’ top cop” was on the run.

Rep. Charlie Geren, a Republican committee member, said without elaborating that Paxton called lawmakers and threatened them with political “impact.” When the charges were presented, some MPs shook their heads. They were expected to debate impeachment for four hours before the vote.

House Speaker Dade Phelan, also a Republican, has scheduled a debate for Saturday afternoon on whether to indict Paxton and remove him from office on allegations of bribery, incapacity and abuse of public trust.

Paxon was plagued by corruption allegations during his three tenures as top Texas attorney. In 2020, Paxton, 60, petitioned the US Supreme Court to overturn President Joe Biden’s election defeat by Donald Trump. Only two officers in Texas’ nearly 200-year history have been charged.

Just before the debate began, Donald Trump announced on his TruthSocial platform that he would “fight” those who voted to impeach Paxton.

“Hopefully Republicans in the Texas House of Representatives will agree that this is a very unfair trial that should not be happening or should not continue – I will fight you if it comes to that,” Trump wrote.

His son Donald Trump Jr. called the impeachment trial a “disgrace” to Friady.

Paxton went to Newsmax on Friday night to present his case. He describes the impeachment as “illegal”.

“There’s a law in Texas that they’re not following: This is unlawful impeachment,” Paxton said.

On Saturday, ex-President Donald Trump vowed to “fight” any Republicans who voted to remove Paxton from office. House Speaker Phelan bows his head as Gov. Greg Abbot (R) places his right hand on his chest during the national anthem at Austin House Chamber

“The law says that if there were complaints before the election, there were problems before the election, you cannot start impeachment proceedings for incidents that occurred before the election, true or false: 19 of the 20 in this complaint were. ‘ from issues related to the election.’

The second point related to my settlement authority, and they say I deserved an impeachment trial for clearing a case that required the money to be approved by the legislature. “You actually have to fund it,” the embattled lawmaker added.

Paraphrasing Trump’s book, Paxton told Newsmax personality Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz that Republicans in the Texas House of Representatives are colluding with their Democratic counterparts to impeach Paxton.

Paxton claimed that both parties were “very concerned” about his re-election at the expense of George P. Bush, grandson of former President George HW Bush.

“They thought I was going to lose my election to Bush and they were very concerned when I won and they hatched this plan – I think months and months ago, maybe right after I was re-elected – and thought voters just weren’t smart enough to do that.” “Find out,” Paxton scolded.

Texas soldiers oversee the impeachment trial. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks at a rally in support of President Donald Trump in Washington on January 6, 2021

The Attorney General has also found support from Trump supporter Marjorie Taylor Greene.

The Georgia congresswoman wrote on Facebook, “Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has led the fight against the corrupt Biden administration, defending electoral integrity in Texas, protecting the lives of the unborn and fighting tirelessly to secure the southern border.” running the Texas House of Representatives is a witch hunt.”

US Senator Ted Cruz on Saturday called the impeachment trial a “travesty,” praised Paxton’s effectiveness in suing the Biden administration, and said the attorney general’s legal issues should be left to the courts.

Abbott, who praised Paxton when he inaugurated him for a third term in January, is among those who have remained silent.

The governor was speaking at a Memorial Day service in the House of Representatives Chamber about three hours before the impeachment trial is scheduled to begin.

Dade Phelan, Speaker of the Republican House of Representatives, was also present, but the two seemed to exchange few words, and Abbott left without commenting to reporters.

Earlier, Paxton called on his supporters to “come peacefully to the Capitol and hear their voices” to protest. As of Saturday morning, there was no evidence of organized support in the Texas capital.

The FBI has been investigating Paxton for years over allegations that he used his office to help a donor. In 2015, Paxton was separately charged with securities fraud, although he has not yet been brought to trial.

Up until this week, his fellow Republicans have taken a cautious stance on the allegations.

All that is required for impeachment is a simple majority in the House of Representatives. That means only a small fraction of the 85 Republicans along with 64 Democrats would have to vote against him.

If impeached, Paxton would be impeached pending a Senate trial, and it would be up to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott to name an interim successor.

A final removal would require a two-thirds majority in the Senate, which includes Paxton’s wife Angela.

In some respects, Paxton’s political danger was coming at a dizzying pace: The House Committee’s investigation into him came to light on Tuesday, and lawmakers issued 20 counts of indictments on Thursday.

But for Paxton’s critics, the rebuke was years overdue.

In 2014, he admitted to violating Texas securities laws, and a year later he was charged with securities fraud in his hometown near Dallas and accused of defrauding investors in a tech startup.

He pleaded not guilty to two counts, which carry a possible sentence of five to 99 years.

He opened a legal defense fund and accepted $100,000 from a manager whose company was being investigated by Paxton’s office for Medicaid fraud.

Another $50,000 was donated by an Arizona retiree whose son Paxton later got a high-level job but was fired shortly thereafter after he exposed child pornography in a meeting.

In 2020, Paxton intervened in a mountain community in Colorado, where a Texas donor and college classmate was threatened with removal from his lakeside home due to the coronavirus directive.

But what ultimately sparked the impeachment drive was Paxton’s relationship with Austin real estate developer Nate Paul.

In 2020, eight top officials told the FBI they were concerned that Paxton was using his office to help Paul with the developer’s unsubstantiated claims that an elaborate conspiracy to steal his $200 million property was being used be in progress.

The FBI searched Paul’s home in 2019, but he was not charged and denies wrongdoing. Paxton also told staff that he was having an affair with a woman who was later revealed to be working for Paul.

The impeachment trial alleges that Paxton attempted to interfere in foreclosure proceedings and provide legal opinions in Paul’s favor.

The bribery allegations allege that Paul hired the woman with whom Paxton was having an affair in exchange for legal counsel and that he paid for expensive renovations to the Attorney General’s home.

A senior attorney for Paxton’s office, Chris Hilton, said Friday that the attorney general paid for all repairs and renovations.

Other charges, including lying to investigators, stem from Paxton’s pending securities fraud charges.

Four of the aides who reported Paxton to the FBI later filed suits under the Texas whistleblower law, and in February he agreed to settle the case for $3.3 million.

The House committee said it was Paxton, who sought legislative approval for the payout, that sparked the investigation.

“Without Paxton’s own application for a taxpayer-funded settlement of his misconduct, Paxton would not face impeachment,” the panel said.