UNITED STATES NEWS

Impeachment trial of Texas’ Ken Paxton to begin no later than August 28

May 29, 2023, 4:57 PM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A historic impeachment trial in Texas to determine whether Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton should be permanently removed from office will begin no later than August in the state Senate, where the jury that would determine his future could include his wife, Sen. Angela Paxton.

Ken Paxton was immediately suspended from office after the GOP-controlled Texas House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted Saturday dogged by ethical and criminal accusations since taking office in 2015.

The Senate unanimously adopted a measure Monday that called for the trial to begin not later than Aug. 28.

Paxton is only the third sitting official in Texas’ nearly 200-year history to be impeached. He called the House investigation that led up to his impeachment “corrupt” and has broadly denied wrongdoing. The raft of accusations against him include an indictment on securities fraud charges and allegations that he misused his office to try to thwart an FBI investigation into one of his donors.

Angela Paxton has not publicly commented on the impeachment proceedings against her husband, nor has said whether she will recuse herself from the trial in the 31-member Senate, where she is one of 19 Republicans that frequently vote in lockstep.

Removing Ken Paxton from office would require a two-thirds majority.

The impeachment has blown wide open rifts in America’s biggest red state between Republicans who are seen as the establishment — particularly in the Texas House — and hard-right conservative activists who have long backed Paxton.

Paxton was easily reelected in November as Republicans extended their unbeaten streak in Texas statewide elections to 28 years. His defenders say voters have already made up their mind on whether he is fit for office despite the trail of accusations.

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Impeachment trial of Texas’ Ken Paxton to begin no later than August 28