Texas House panel recommends impeachment of Attorney General Ken Paxton

A bipartisan, Republican-led committee within the Texas Home of Representatives voted Thursday to advocate impeaching embattled Lawyer Common Ken Paxton, setting the stage for lawmakers to probably oust the state official.

The vote by the Committee on Common Investigating got here a day after committee investigators testified concerning the findings of their months-long probe into Paxton’s alleged misconduct.

The committee advisable 20 articles of impeachment in opposition to Paxton, together with claims of bribery, unfitness for workplace and abuse of public belief. The articles largely relate to Paxton’s alleged efforts to guard a rich donor from an FBI investigation and makes an attempt to dam whistleblower complaints by his workers.

It was unclear when the Home would take up a possible vote on impeaching Paxton. A spokesperson for Home Speaker Dade Phelan — a Republican with whom Paxton has feuded — referred the query on Home votes to the committee. Logan Harrison, a spokesman for the investigating panel, stated the vote by the Home on articles of impeachment is predicted quickly, although he didn’t present a date. The legislative session is scheduled to finish Monday.

Within the 150-member Home, the place Republicans maintain 85 seats, a easy majority is required to ship articles of impeachment to the state Senate, Harrison stated. Within the Senate, Harrison defined, Paxton might be impeached and eliminated by a vote of two-thirds of the senators current. Republicans maintain 19 of the Senate’s 31 seats; Democrats maintain the rest.

Paxton, in a press release Thursday night, stated the committee investigation report was “primarily based on rumour and gossip, parroting long-disproved claims.”

“It’s a tragic day for Texas as we witness the corrupt political institution unite on this illegitimate try and overthrow the desire of the individuals and disenfranchise the voters of our state,” Paxton stated.

Investigators for the committee on Wednesday stated Paxton abused his official capability, misused official data and retaliated in opposition to whistleblowers who had accused him of corruption in October 2020. Paxton settled the corruption lawsuit with 4 former aides in February for $3.3 million — a sum Paxton had sought to pay utilizing taxpayer funds.

However the Texas legislature balked at utilizing public funds to pay that settlement.

The investigators stated Paxton had pressured the open information division in his workplace to assist a donor and good friend, Nate Paul, in his authorized struggle with a nonprofit group in Austin. In alternate for that assist, investigators stated, Paul helped with a “floor-to-ceiling renovation” at Paxton’s dwelling and employed a girl with whom Paxton allegedly had an extramarital affair.

The investigators additionally concluded Paxton wrongly fired a number of former staffers who reported his inappropriate habits to authorities.

Paxton has been beneath felony indictment for securities fraud since 2015, the 12 months he grew to become legal professional normal. The FBI opened an investigation into Paxton in November 2020 on allegations he used his workplace to profit a rich donor, the Related Press reported.

In September 2022, a Texas decide ordered Paxton to sit down for a deposition about accusations of securities fraud. Regardless of the indictment and litany of investigations, Texas voters elected Paxton to a 3rd time period as legal professional normal in 2022.

The identical Home committee advisable lawmakers expel Rep. Bryan Slaton earlier this month after investigating sexual misconduct allegations made in opposition to him by a 19-year-old aide. Slaton resigned his seat a day earlier than the Home voted 147-0 to expel him.

Supply: The Washington Post


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