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Ken Paxton, Texas AG, acquitted of all impeachment articles

Ken Paxton, Attorney General of Texas, was acquitted of all impeachment articles and reinstated to his office.

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Ken Paxton, Texas AG, acquitted of all impeachment articles

The Senate of Texas, trying the impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, acquitted him yesterday on all counts.

Ken Paxton and accusations of corruption

The Texas State House of Representatives, by a vote of 121-23, brought twenty Articles of Impeachment against the attorney general. Upon that vote, he took leave from his office, of which a caretaker has been discharging the powers and duties. But the Senate of Texas deferred action on four of the articles, which relate to a still-pending investigation of Ken Paxton for securities fraud. The Senate took up the remaining sixteen for a trial that began September 5, after Labor Day. Yesterday the Senate voted 16-14 to acquit Paxton, with one abstention. (State Senator Angela Paxton, wife of the accused, did not have a vote for these proceedings.)

Following the vote, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who presided over the trial, declared it “a waste of time.” The Senate then voted to dismiss the remaining four articles without a trial.

Two-thirds of the Senate constitute the supermajority required to convict on impeachment, according to The Daily Caller.

No evidence!

The charges arose out of a report from Paxton’s staff to the FBI in the fall of 2020. But the key break in the case came on or before Friday, September 8. Ryan Vassar, a former deputy attorney general, testified to having reported his boss for showing improper favors to businessman Nate Paul. Paul has donated heavily to Ken Paxton’s reelection campaigns over the years. (Ken Paxton wins easily when he stands for reelection.) But Mitch Little, counsel for the accused, forced Vassar to admit that he took no evidence to the FBI when he made his report. Not only that, but never once did he or his fellow “whistleblowers” develop any evidence of wrongdoing on the attorney general’s part. All they ever had was a “good-faith belief” that Paxton had done something illegal. (Furthermore, the FBI has never acted on the report.)

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Paxton’s side rested their case Friday morning (September 15), according to Law360. Another correspondent suggested Texas’ senators faced a “dicey” situation, because Paxton’s popularity would make conviction difficult. In the end, only two Republicans joined twelve Democrats in voting to convict. But the partisan make-up calculation ignores the apparent ease with which the State House had voted to impeach last May.

End of an era

According to Todd Starnes, another of Paxton’s attorneys, Tony Buzbee, declared, “The Bush era in Texas ends today.” The Bushes, who have produced two Texas governors, two Presidents, and a Florida governor, have been the most powerful political dynasty in Texas for years. George P. Bush in fact lost to Ken Paxton in the 2022 Republican primary.

Former President Donald Trump celebrated the acquittal with several “Truths.” Here is the longest:

….Attorney General Paxton was fully acquitted on all 16 Impeachment Articles brought by the Texas Republican House. It is time that Speaker Dade Phelan resign after pushing this Disgraceful Sham!

Congratulations to Attorney General Ken Paxton on a great and historic Texas sized VICTORY. I also want to congratulate his wonderful wife and family for having had to go through this ordeal, and WINNING!

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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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