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Texas House impeaches state Attorney General Ken Paxton

Texas lawmakers voted to impeach state Attorney General Ken Paxton in a bipartisan vote.
Texas House impeaches state Attorney General Ken Paxton
Posted at 4:56 PM, May 27, 2023

In a bipartisan and rather contentious session on Saturday, the Texas House voted to impeach Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton by a 121-23 margin. 

The vote came after nearly four hours of debate. 

The measure now moves to the Senate, where it will conduct a trial. If convicted, Paxton would become just the third state lawmaker to be kicked out of office.

As the Senate weighs conviction, Paxton is unable to serve and Gov. Greg Abbott must name an interim attorney general.

Supporters of the impeachment said that Paxton's conduct warranted a trial in the Senate. State Rep. Charlie Geren also claimed Paxton threatened lawmakers with consequences if they voted in favor of impeachment. 

Opponents said the process was rushed and Paxton was not given ample opportunity to defend himself.

Paxton took to Twitter Saturday afternoon to decry the vote. 

"The people of Texas know that I have always had their back, and in return, they have always had mine," he said. "What we witnessed today is not just about me. It is about the corrupt establishment's eagerness to overpower the millions of Texas voters who already made their voices heard when they overwhelmingly re-elected me."

A House investigative committee in Texas' state legislature issued 20 articles of impeachment against Paxton on Thursday.

SEE MORE: Texas AG claims speaker was drunk after investigation was revealed

The articles allege Paxton committed crimes while in office, including bribery and abuse of public trust.

The committee conducted a months-long investigation into allegations that Paxton attempted to hide an affair, misused official information, and abused official powers.

House Republicans made the inquiry public Wednesday, prompting an exchange of high-profile allegations in which Paxton accused Republican House Speaker Dade Phelan of being drunk while he presided over the session.

Paxton has dismissed the accusations against him as politically motivated and called for Phelan to resign.

It will require two-thirds of Texas' Senate to vote in favor of conviction to remove Paxton from office.

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