AUSTIN, Texas — Saturday afternoon, Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton will face an impeachment vote in the Texas House of Representatives after a committee, led by Republicans, passed 20 articles of impeachment against him.
The decision of the House of Commons General Inquiry Committee was made on one day after the panel heard from the investigators who alleged that the attorney general engaged in illegal practices to protect a political sponsor, among other charges.
“Every politician who supports this fraudulent impeachment effort will do lasting damage to the reputation of the Texas House of Representatives,” Paxton said Friday to reporters while calling the impeachment process politically motivated. .
He also urged his supporters to gather peacefully at the State Capitol in Austin on Saturday so their voices could be heard.
The House charges against Paxton primarily revolve around real estate investor Austin Nate Paul, who contributed $25,000 to Paxton’s campaign.
Paul is being investigated by the FBI and investigators hired by House allege that Paxton attempted to use his office to interfere. They say Paxton forced its staff to change the ruling on the COVID-19 restrictions in favor of Paul and hired an outside attorney to serve as a special prosecutor and fight law enforcement on Paul’s behalf. federal law.
Investigators say they have concluded that there is sufficient evidence that Paxton committed the crime violated many times of the law and his oath of office, including abuse of official capacity, abuse of official information, and official retaliation and oppression.
The reason for the House’s investigation stems from Paxton’s office asking the Texas Legislature for $3.3 million to go to four of his former employees, who were fired last year. 2020 after making allegations of Paxton’s alleged misconduct in relation to Nate Paul.
“We cannot overemphasize the fact that, but given Paxton’s own request for a taxpayer-funded resolution to his misconduct, Paxton will not face impeachment. of the House,” wrote Republican Representative Andrew Murr, Speaker of the House. The Investigative Committee, in a memo sent to members of the House of Representatives on Friday.
Democratic Representative Terry Canales told The Texas Newsroom that there is enough evidence to impeach Paxton.
“I’ll tell you that after hearing so much evidence they’ve heard that it would be irresponsible for us not to do it,” he said.
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The Attorney General replied
During Friday’s press conference, Paxton doubled down on calling the impeachment vote “illegal,” something his head of litigation, Chris Hilton, told reporters on Thursday.
“Any impeachment proposal can only be about conduct since the most recent election. Voters have spoken, they want Ken Paxton,” Hilton said.
But Texas law only says that public officials cannot be impeached “for conduct committed before an election,” and does not specify which election.
Also during the press conference, Paxton said the impeachment vote was an attempt to derail his efforts to block President Biden’s policies in court.
“The House of Representatives is ready to do exactly what Joe Biden has hoped to achieve since his first day in office – sabotage our job, my job, as Attorney General of Texas, ” he said.
“There is no other state in this country that has so much influence on the destiny of our nation, and this is only due to the unrelenting challenges I raise against this unconstitutional policy agenda. of Biden,” he continued.
In a statement posted on his Twitter account on Thursday, Paxton said the Texas House of Representatives is trying to “overturn” the outcome of his 2022 re-election bid.
Paxton was first elected to the Texas attorney general’s office in 2014 and has been re-elected twice since. Conservative Republican Party Popular with Republican Voters – he easily defeated George P. Bush in the 2022 Republican primaries – while remaining controversial within and outside the Republican Party.
He’s made a name for himself in the state by prosecuting a record number of Texans with election fraud and for his legal opinion defines gender affirmative care as child abuse. His reputation nationally comes mainly from his feuds with the federal government, both the Obama and Biden administrations, such as immigration issues, federal spending, and abortion pills. He also tried to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Immediately after taking office for the first time in 2015, Paxton indicted about securities fraud and has yet to appear in court. He is also facing a federal investigation into alleged abuse of his office.