On May 27, 2023, the Texas House of Representatives voted to impeach Attorney General Ken Paxton. The vote was 121-23, with two members voting “present.” Paxton is now temporarily suspended from his duties as attorney general and will await a Senate trial.
The impeachment charges against Paxton stem from a 2015 indictment alleging that he abused his office by using it to help a wealthy donor, Nate Paul. Paxton has denied the charges and has been fighting them in court.
The House impeachment vote was largely along party lines, with all but two Republicans voting in favor of impeachment and all but two Democrats voting against it. However, some Republicans who voted in favor of impeachment said they did so because they believed Paxton had abused his office, regardless of whether he had broken the law.
Paxton’s impeachment is the first time a Texas attorney general has been impeached in more than 40 years. It is also the first time that a Texas attorney general has been impeached by a House controlled by his own party.
The Senate trial of Paxton is expected to begin in August. If convicted by the Senate, Paxton would be removed from office and replaced by the state’s solicitor general, Brent Webster.
Paxton has vowed to fight the impeachment charges and has said that he is confident that he will be acquitted by the Senate. However, the impeachment vote is a major setback for Paxton, who has been under fire for years over his legal troubles.
The impeachment of Paxton is a significant event in Texas politics. It is a sign of the deep divisions within the state’s Republican Party, and it raises questions about the future of Paxton’s political career.