Texas lawmakers recommend impeachment of Attorney General Ken Paxton


Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton teetered on the brink of impeachment on Thursday after years of scandals, criminal charges and corruption allegations that have kept the state’s Republican majority largely silent.

The Republican-led House Inquiry Committee unanimously decided, I spent months quietly investigating Paxton. He recommended impeaching the state’s top lawyer for Article 20, including bribery, unfitness for public office, and abuse of public trust. The state House could vote on the recommendation as early as Friday. If the House impeaches Paxton, he will be forced to leave office immediately.

The move comes as a shockingly sudden downfall for one of the Republican Party’s most prominent litigators, who asked the Supreme Court to overturn President Biden’s victory in 2020. In nearly 200 years of Texas history, only two officials have been impeached.

Articles of impeachment against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton To
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Paxton has been under investigation by the FBI for years for allegedly using his office to help donors, and was separately indicted on securities fraud charges in 2015, but has yet to face trial.

Unlike Congress, impeachment in Texas requires immediate removal pending trial in the Senate. In other words, Mr. Paxton was appealing to voters to reject his compromised incumbent, but when he realized that many did not know about Mr. Paxton’s litany, challengers (including George P. Bush Just seven months after easily defeating Mr. He has accused him of alleged wrongdoing and dismissed his accusations as political attacks. Republican Governor Greg Abbott may appoint an interim replacement.

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to reporters outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC, April 26, 2022.

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Two attorneys for Paxton did not respond to requests for comment. Paxton has suggested the investigation uncovered this week was a politically motivated attack by the “liberal” Republican Speaker of the House, who accused him of drinking on the job.

Paxton said in a statement on Thursday that he once again called Republican Speaker Dade Phelan a “liberal” and that “RINO in the Texas Legislature” was “on the same side as Joe Biden, Alejandro Mayorcas and Chuck Schumer.” I’m standing,’ he complained.

Paxton also argued that the commission’s report was “based on hearsay and gossip parroting long-disproved claims.”

Attorney General’s Office Senior Counsel Chris Hilton told reporters before the committee’s vote on Thursday that what investigators said about Paxton was “false,” “misleading,” and “mistakes big and small.” I am full,” he said. He said all allegations were known to voters when Paxton was re-elected in November.

Impeachment requires a two-thirds vote in the 150-member House of Representatives, with Republicans winning an overwhelming majority of 85-64.

In some ways, Mr. Paxton’s political crisis has come with dizzying speed. House Republicans didn’t say they were investigating him until Tuesday, but the next day, as one of the most powerful people in Texas, allegations of criminal activity by Paxton made a rare public disclosure. .

But to critics of Mr. Paxton, who is now building his party’s approval ratings in the Texas Capitol, the rebuke seemed years in the making.

In 2014, he pleaded guilty to violating Texas securities laws by failing to register as an investment adviser when soliciting clients. A year later, Mr. Paxton was indicted by a grand jury near his hometown of Dallas on felony securities charges for defrauding investors in a tech startup. He has pleaded not guilty to two felony counts that carry a penalty of five to 99 years in prison.

He set up a legal defense fund and received $100,000 from a company executive under investigation by the Paxton office for Medicaid fraud. An additional $50,000 was donated by an Arizona retiree whose son, Paxton, later landed a high-profile job but was quickly fired after showing child pornography at a conference to try to get his point across. .

Paxton’s most serious risk is his relationship with another wealthy donor, Austin real estate developer Nate Paul.

The impeachment article mentions Paul several times in relation to allegations of wrongdoing by Paxton.

Paxton alleged, among other things, that he improperly intervened in lawsuits against “several Paul-controlled business entities” and “wrongfully obtained information not available to the public for the purpose of providing information for profit.” was accused of For the benefit of Nate Paul” and had another attorney issue more than 30 grand jury subpoenas “for the benefit of Nate Paul or Paul’s entities.”

Mr. Paxton is also accused under Section 2 of having employees of the firm prepare written opinions to avoid a foreclosure sale of “real property belonging to Nate Paul or an entity controlled by Paul.” there is Paxton “covered up his actions by asking the chairman of a Senate committee to serve as a straw requester” and “directed office employees to reverse legal conclusions in Paul’s interest.” It is said that

In 2020, several of Mr. Paxton’s aides alleged that Attorney General Paul had been called to help Mr. Paul over an unproven allegation that an elaborate conspiracy to steal a $200 million fortune was underway. He said he feared he was abusing his authority. The FBI raided Paul’s home in 2019, but he was never charged and his lawyers deny any wrongdoing. Paxton also told staff he had an affair with a woman who later turned out to have worked for Paul.

Paxton’s aides accused him of corruption and either fired or resigned after reporting them to the FBI. The four filed a Texas whistleblowing lawsuit against Paxton for wrongful retaliation and agreed to settle the case in February for $3.3 million. But the Texas House of Representatives must approve the payments, and Phelan said he doesn’t think taxpayers should bear the costs.

Shortly after the settlement, a House investigation into Paxton began. The investigation has resulted in unusual scrutiny of Mr. Paxton in the state Capitol, where many Republicans have remained silent over the years about the Attorney General’s charges.

Among them is Abbott, who was sworn in for a third term at Paxton in January and said his approach to the job was “the right way to run the office of the Attorney General.”

The Texas House of Representatives has only twice impeached incumbents: Governor James Ferguson in 1917 and state judge OP Carrillo in 1975.


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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