The impeachment trial of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton got underway today, as reported by Politico.
This is only the third instance in Texas history in which an official has been impeached with the possibility of being removed from office.
In May, legislators voted overwhelmingly in favor of impeaching Paxton, thus paving the way for his trial before the state Senate.
According to Politico, Paxton’s wife, a state senator herself, will be barred from voting on her husband’s conviction.
State Sen. Angela Paxton will not be able to vote in the impeachment trial of her husband, Texas AG Ken Paxton, under rules set in the state Senate. https://t.co/uE4CBNjpFQ
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 22, 2023
In order to secure a conviction, at least nine Republican state senators must join the 12 Democratic members of the chamber. The trial will be presided over by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who previously loaned $125,000 for Paxton’s reelection campaign.
Additionally, The Texas Tribune reported last month that a federal grand jury has been convened in San Antonio and questioned witnesses close to the Attorney General concerning his relationship with Nate Paul – an Austin real estate developer who was indicted earlier this year on allegations of making false statements in an attempt to secure $170 million worth of bank loans.
Chris Toth, former executive director of the National Association of Attorneys General and vocal critic of Paxton, has stated that the attorney general has “a vile and insidious level of influence.”
Matt Langston, a Republican political consultant, has suggested that the impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is revealing deep divisions among members of the state’s GOP.
“You’re seeing a fracture within the party right now,” he was quoted as saying, pointing out that this may have long-lasting impacts on its leadership and organization.
Paxton has been an ally of former President Donald Trump, prompting some to draw comparisons between both figures’ predicaments.
However, James Dickey–formerly the Texas Republican Party Chairman–has argued that there are important distinctions that set them apart.
He asserted that Democratic elected officials exclusively drove actions against Trump, and thus it had a more partisan tone which caused greater concern and frustration among Republican voters.