Texas’ Ken Paxton hires prominent attorney for impeachment trial

Jun 7, 2023, 2:47 PM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A new lawyer for Ken Paxton on Wednesday raised skepticism that the embattled Texas attorney general’s impeachment trial could be done quickly and attacked the case that could lead to the Republican’s permanent removal from office as a sham.

Tony Buzbee is a prominent Houston attorney whose high-profile client list includes NFL quarterback Deshaun Watson of sexual harassment and assault. His hiring sets up a clash between some of the state’s most well-known lawyers over Paxton’s political future.

“The impeachment articles that have been laid out by the House are baloney,” Buzbee said during a news conference at the Republican Party of Texas’ Austin headquarters. “The allegations are untrue.”

The impeachment trial in the Texas Senate is set to begin no later than Aug. 28. “If we’re really going to have a trial, it’s going to take a lot longer than that,” Buzbee said.

Buzbee joins several member of the attorney general’s staff who are set to square off against two high-profile lawyers the House brought in to present the case against Paxton, who was suspended from office following his impeachment on 20 articles including abuse of public trust and bribery.

Buzbee and one of Paxton’s longtime criminal defense attorneys, Dan Cogdell, criticized the House’s rapid impeachment process as rushed and secretive. Lawmakers allied with Paxton mounted similar complaints in May before 60 of the House’s 85 Republicans, including Speaker Dade Phelan, voted to impeach.

“There was no due process before the House,” said Cogdell, who represents Paxton in a long-stalled securities fraud case and a separate FBI investigation into many of the same allegations that led to his impeachment.

The case for Paxton’s impeachment is set to be presented by Dick DeGuerin and Rusty Hardin, who over decades in Texas have become practically as recognizable in courtrooms as the politicians and famous figures they have represented.

Buzbee said the current timeframe would not give Paxton’s legal team enough time to take testimony from more than 60 witnesses and review thousands of documents. He suggested the trial might need to be put off until next summer.

The trial date start, as well as a June 20 Senate meeting to consider trial rules, were set by a Senate vote. It was not immediately clear if those dates could be changed without a similar vote by the 31 senators.

Paxton has been under FBI investigation for years over accusations by members of his own staff that he used his office to help a donor. He was separately indicted on securities fraud charges in 2015, though he has yet to stand trial.

Buzbee didn’t directly address the substance of most of the allegations against Paxton during the 40-minute news conference. But he did contest that the donor, real estate developer Nate Paul, bribed the attorney general by paying for renovations to his Austin home. The lawyer showed images of receipts that he suggested disproved the claim.

Buzbee declined to say who was paying for his services, save that “I’m not being paid by the public.”


Bleiberg reported from Dallas.

United States News

This Aug. 17, 2021 photo shows Quagga mussels cover the engine of a Bell P-39 Airacobra military pl...

Associated Press

Historians race to find Great Lakes shipwrecks before quagga mussels destroy the sites

An invasive mussel is destroying shipwrecks deep in the depths of the lakes, forcing archeologists and amateur historians into a race against time to find as many sites as they can before the region touching eight U.S. states and the Canadian province of Ontario loses any physical trace of its centuries-long maritime history.

34 minutes ago

A sign marks a roadside rest stop that has been made to look like the historic security gate that a...

Associated Press

Birthplace of the atomic bomb braces for its biggest mission since the top-secret Manhattan Project

Los Alamos was the perfect spot for the U.S. government’s top-secret Manhattan Project.

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Suspect arrested after shooting at the Oklahoma State Fair injures 1, police say

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — One person was injured when shots were fired during an argument between two groups of people at the Oklahoma State Fair on Saturday, sending a crowd of people running for safety, police said. One person was arrested on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon after the evening shooting, Oklahoma […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Former NHL player Nicolas Kerdiles dies after a motorcycle crash in Nashville. He was 29

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Former NHL player Nicolas Kerdiles died Saturday after a motorcycle crash in Nashville, according to police. He was 29. The one-time hockey player for the Anaheim Ducks drove his motorcycle through a stop sign early Saturday and hit the driver’s side of an SUV, according to the Metro Nashville Police Department. […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Hazing lawsuit filed against University of Alabama fraternity

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — A student and his parents have filed a lawsuit against a University of Alabama fraternity, saying he suffered a traumatic brain injury while being hazed as a fraternity pledge earlier this year. The lawsuit filed last week accuses Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and others associated with it of fraud, negligence and […]

7 hours ago

This illustration provided by NASA depicts the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft at the asteroid Bennu. On Wedn...

Associated Press

NASA recovers asteroid samples in largest haul of material from beyond the moon

NASA’s first asteroid samples fetched from deep space parachuted into the Utah desert Sunday to cap a seven-year journey.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



When most diets fail, re:vitalize makes a difference that shows

Staying healthy and losing weight are things many people in Arizona are conscious of, especially during the summer.


Mayo Clinic

Game on! Expert sports physicals focused on you

With tryouts quickly approaching, now is the time for parents to schedule physicals for their student-athlete. The Arizona Interscholastic Association requires that all student-athletes must have a physical exam completed before participating in team practices or competition.



Thank you to Al McCoy for 51 years as voice of the Phoenix Suns

Sanderson Ford wants to share its thanks to Al McCoy for the impact he made in the Valley for more than a half-decade.

Texas’ Ken Paxton hires prominent attorney for impeachment trial