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Texas House votes to impeach Attorney General Ken Paxton | Political News

In historic proceedings, the Texas House of Representatives voted to impeach the attorney general on charges of abuse of power.

The Texas House of Representatives has voted to impeach Attorney General Ken Paxton, a conservative firebrand and ally of former President Donald Trump who has been accused by fellow Republicans of abusing his office.

In a historic proceeding, the 149-member House of Representatives voted 121-23 to impeach Paxton on Saturday, and after hours of debate, the House heard from supporters and opponents of impeachment.

Two members were present but did not vote, and three members were absent.

Paxton will now be suspended from office pending a trial in the Senate, where his wife, Angela Paxton, is a senator. The Texas Senate will adjourn until 1pm (18:00GMT) on Sunday, according to the Texas Senate website.

In a statement on Twitter after Saturday’s vote, Paxton denied the allegations and denounced the proceedings as “illegal, immoral and grossly unjust.”

“I look forward to a swift resolution by the Texas Senate, and I have every confidence that the process will be fair and just,” he said.

Trump, who is seeking re-election in 2024, promised in a message on his social media channel Truth Social ahead of the vote that he would “fight” with Texas House Republicans if Paxton was impeached.

The 20 articles of impeachment brought by a Republican-led House committee accuse Paxton of improperly helping a wealthy political donor, conducting a false investigation into a whistleblower he fired from his office and committing federal securities fraud against him in another case. The case covered up his misconduct, among other crimes.

Paxton’s impeachment proceedings have exposed divisions among Texas Republicans.

Some spoke enthusiastically in support of the impeachment of the state’s top law enforcement official.

“Attorney General Paxton continues to flagrantly violate laws, rules, policies and procedures,” Rep. David Spiller said before the vote.

Others strongly disagree. John Smithee, a longtime conservative member of the House of Representatives, said he was not defending Paxton but was criticizing the process and said the evidence was insufficient.

“There is not a word, and not a word, in the testimony before you that is admissible in any court in Texas,” Smithey said. “It’s a rumor within a rumor.”

Paxton has taken a far-right stance on divisive cultural issues. He has sued the Biden administration nearly 50 times, seeking to stop what he calls “illegal authoritarian policies” on issues including immigration, gun rights and business regulation.

The five-member Texas House General Investigations Committee voted unanimously Thursday to recommend Paxton’s impeachment and removal from office.

Paxton easily won re-election last year after fending off a Republican primary challenge from George P. Bush, the scion of the two former presidents.

The committee heard testimony from its investigators about Paxton’s alleged abuse of power over the years, including the fact that he gave Nate Paul, a friend and donor to the Texas real estate developer, FBI documents related to the bureau’s investigation of Paul. .

The impeachment article also accused Paxton of paying bribes when Paul hired a woman with whom Paxton had an affair.

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