The Bakersfield Californian
Fight still ahead for Texas’ AG after historic impeachment deepens GOP divisions
AUSTIN, Texas — The historic impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was just the first round of a Republican brawl over whether to banish one of their own in America’s biggest red state after years of criminal accusations.
Paxton and his allies, from former President Donald Trump to hard-right grassroots organizations across Texas, now wait to fight back in what Paxton hopes will be a friendlier arena: a trial in the state Senate.
It was still unclear Sunday when this will take place. The Republican-led Senate met to pass bills in the final days of the legislative session. But the chamber’s presiding officer, Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, did not immediately address the Paxton impeachment.
Paxton has said he has “full confidence” as he awaits a Senate trial. His conservative allies there include his wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton, who has not said whether she will recuse herself from the proceedings to determine whether her husband will be permanently removed from office.
For now, Texas’ three-term attorney general is immediately suspended after the state House of Representatives on Saturday impeached Paxton on 20 articles that included bribery and abuse of public trust.
The decisive 121-23 vote amounted to a clear rebuke from the GOP-controlled chamber after nearly a decade of Republican lawmakers taking a mostly muted stance on Paxton’s alleged misdeeds, which include felony securities fraud charges from 2015 and an ongoing FBI investigation into corruption accusations.
“No one person should be above the law, least not the top law officer of the state of Texas,” said Republican state Rep. David Spiller, who was part of a House investigative committee.