Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Returns To Office After Being Acquitted Of Corruption Charges By State Senate
On Sunday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), 60, newly acquitted of his impeachment charges, began his first official day back in office.
Paxton’s 21-year-old career as a political figure has been riddled with criminal charges and scandals. In October 2020, Paxton was accused of having abused his office and pressured former advisers to assist a political donor currently under FBI investigation. In May of 2023, Paxton was impeached with a bipartisan vote by the Republican-controlled Texas House of Representatives. Articles of impeachment included claims that Paxton obstructed justice in the securities fraud trial against him, misappropriated public funds, falsely testified against whistleblowers, provided preferential treatment to a political donor who bought him and misrepresented his financial interests.
On Saturday, more than three months after his impeachment in the Texas House, Paxton was acquitted by Senate Republicans who work with his wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton. While Angela was not allowed to vote in the trial, she attended the two weeks of proceedings.
Laura Olson, the alleged former lover to Paxton, was called to the stand near the end of the trial but was ultimately unavailable to testify. Olson has never spoken publicly about her relationship with Paxton, but she was instrumental in a case that accused him of crimes to support Nate Paul, a local real estate developer under FBI investigation at the time. The prosecution’s claim was that Paul had hired Olson in return for Paxtons’ favors. When Olson exercised her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, the case collapsed. The same afternoon the prosecution rested its case.
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Paxton was not present for the majority of the trial and was absent from the Senate for acquittal on the 16 articles of impeachment.
State Sen. Nathan Johnson (D) said that there were nearly eight hours of debate among the 30 senators. When it became clear that there would not be enough votes to convict, some of the senators changed their votes.
Republican state House were exasperated at the verdict from Saturday’s trial. State Rep. Dade Phelan stated, “The inescapable conclusion is that today’s outcome appears to have been orchestrated from the start, cheating the people of Texas of justice.”
This fallout in Austin will likely have an effect on the result of the 2024 election. Since Paxton’s impeachment, his conservative allies have vowed to target the Republican legislators responsible for the investigation.
Paxton has promised the public that upon his return, he will continue to fight the Biden administration in court in support of former President Donald Trump.
He also plans an upcoming sit-down with Tucker Carlson, the former Fox News host.
Paxton remains under FBI investigation and will face trial on felony security fraud charges.
Paxton declared in a statement on X: “I’ve said many times: Seek the truth! And that is what was accomplished.”
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