Lawyers For Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Seek 19 Of 20 Impeachment Articles Be Dropped
In a court filing, lawyers for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) requested that 19 out of the 20 articles of impeachment against him be dismissed.
The FBI’s investigation into Paxton has been ongoing since senior aides accused him of using his office to help friend and political donor Nate Paul, who was investigated for fraud years ago. Paxton allegedly interfered in litigation on Paul’s behalf, and Paul repaid him by renovating Paxton’s home and employing a woman with whom Paxton was having an affair.
The Attorney General is being tried on 20 counts of misconduct, including allegations of bribery, abuse of power and retaliation against whistleblowers.
Paxton’s legal team argued that the majority of the articles took place before his most recent term and thus violate Texas’ “prior-term doctrine,” which states that officials cannot be removed from office for an act they committed before they were elected.
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They asserted that Texas voters should be given the right to decide if Paxton should be removed at the polls, as voters were “subject to tens of millions of dollars in broadcast advertisements, dozens of newspaper articles and countless speeches or appearances accusing Attorney General Paxton of the alleged misconduct,” yet still reelected him in January.
The lawyers did not request Article 8 of the impeachment be removed, which accuses Paxton of abusing his position by “concealing his wrongful acts in connection with the whistleblower complaints.” Paxton allegedly fired four of his former senior deputies after they reported his misconduct to federal authorities.
Paxton is scheduled to appear before the Texas Senate in September for his impeachment trial.
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