The Austin Chronicle

Paxton’s Impeachment Circus Continues Into 2024

Dan Patrick’s denunciation of the House decision to impeach confirms entire trial was tilted in Paxton’s favor

By Michael King, December 15, 2023, News

September 5: The Paxton legal circus will continue into 2024, and A.G. Ken Paxton's impeachment process was more of a season than a date, but we're pinning it here on Sept. 5, the day his impeachment trial began in the Texas Senate. He might have avoided the whole ordeal if not for asking the Lege to fork over the $3.3 million he owed to settle a lawsuit over firing whistleblowers. Balking at that taxpayer tab, the House instead voted 121-23 to impeach on 20 charges, including bribery, abuse of office, obstruction of justice ... and oh, yeah, those still-pending charges of felony securities fraud.

The two-week trial provided abundant evidence of Paxton's corrupt relationship with Austin real estate investor Nate Paul. While Paxton helped investigate Paul's enemies, Paul allegedly provided Paxton with home renovations and employment for Paxton's sometime mistress, Laura Olson. Despite reams of prosecutorial evidence and a barely perfunctory attempt at a defense, the Texas Senate voted to acquit Paxton on all 16 surviving counts of impeachment. Only two Republican senators voted to convict, and several senators reported that the two-thirds calculation (21 of 31) that included Angela Paxton (herself implicated in the bribery charges) was crucial to the outcome. Following the verdict, presiding judge Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick delivered a blistering denunciation of the House decision to impeach, thereby confirming abundantly that the entire trial had been tilted in Paxton’s favor.

Read more: “Ken Paxton’s Top 10 Follies This Year.”

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