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.

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