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Texas AG Paxton impeached

Kenneth Paxton, Attorney General of Texas, is suspended from his office after the Texas House impeached him on 20 charges.

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Texas House of Representatives

Ken Paxton, Attorney General of Texas, is now suspended from his office after the Texas House of Representatives impeached him.

Texas Republicans turn on Paxton

The Texas House voted 121-23 to pass twenty articles of impeachment against Paxton yesterday, according to The Epoch Times. These articles stem from a wide variety of charges from various federal investigations. The immediate effect of the Articles is the suspension of Paxton from office pending a trial in the Texas Senate. Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) now is empowered to appoint an interim Attorney General.

Allegations in the twenty Articles of Impeachment mainly come from Paxton’s relationship with Nate Paul, a real estate developer. They include bribery – for instance, Nate Paul employing a woman with whom Paxton had an affair. Paul also allegedly paid for renovations to the Attorney General’s house. The AG also has a security fraud case against him, dating back to 2015.

In march, Paxton asked a subcommittee of the House Committee on Appropriations to fund a multimillion-dollar settlement with several whistleblowers whom he allegedly fired. These eight whistleblowers had told the FBI that the AG used his office to help Mr. Paul. Paul donated $25,000 to Paxton’s re-election campaign in 2018.

Paxton delivered a blistering response.

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The newsletter American Announcement excerpted the response, which the AG tweeted out as an image of text. Among other things, the embattled official charged that he had none of the privileges of presenting a defense afforded to a criminal defendant. His opponents sarcastically said that he didn’t rate those privileges because he did not face criminal penalties.

The likely real reason

In Texas, as in the federal government, judgment in impeachment cases extends no further than removal from office and disqualification from holding any other office.

His Twitter response included a brief text saying he hopes for better handling of his case in the Senate.

Everyone in Texas knows that he is locked in a bitter feud with Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan. This worthy has a reputation for being drunk on duty.

Paxton’s ally Greg Price, following the vote, tweeted out a complete roster showing how each Representative voted.

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Saul Elbein, writing in The Hill, noted that several conservative measures have stalled in the House after passing the Senate. Indeed the impression he gave is that Senate and House do not get along. This raises doubts to whether the Senate will convict Paxton.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) roundly denounced the impeachment:

Paxton remains popular with many Texans, and many activists have vowed to “primary” all Republicans who voted to impeach. The AG has in fact urged his supporters to protest.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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