Embattled Texas AG calls for protests at Saturday impeachment vote
Embattled Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) called for protests ahead of an expected vote by the state House on Saturday on whether to impeach him over allegations of misconduct and the criminal charges that he is facing.
Paxton said at a press conference on Friday that the impeachment effort is trying to overturn the will of voters who elected him to a third term as attorney general in November. His denunciation of the effort came after the Republican-led House General Investigating Committee voted to advance articles of impeachment against him to the full House following a monthslong investigation.
“They are determined to ignore the law,” Paxton argued. “They have denied me the opportunity to present the evidence which contradicts their politically motivated narrative, and they are showcasing their absolute contempt for the electoral process.”
Paxton has been under criminal indictment since 2015 on multiple charges, including securities fraud, for conduct from before he took office. He has not stood trial in the case and has been reelected twice since then.
After years of controversy surrounding Paxton, the Texas House commissioned four former state prosecutors to investigate the situation, and they revealed numerous allegations against Paxton, including one that he took bribes and fired deputies who reported it.
The Associated Press reported that the committee recommended 20 articles of impeachment against Paxton, including bribery, abuse of public trust and unfitness for office.
“This vote is expected to take place at 1 p.m. [Saturday], and I want to invite my fellow citizens and friends to peacefully come let their voices be heard at the Capitol tomorrow,” Paxton said. “Exercise your right. Petition your government.”
“Let’s restore the power of this great state to the people instead of to the politicians,” he added.
If Paxton is impeached, he would need to step aside from his office while he awaits a trial in the state Senate, under Texas law.
He said if the House impeaches him, he looks forward to a “quick resolution” in the state Senate.
The impeachment effort also comes as Paxton has called for Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan to resign over his appearance at on the House floor in what Paxton alleged was “a state of apparent debilitating intoxication.”
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