Following years of corruption allegations and criminal charges, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is now facing imminent impeachment after a unanimous recommendation for his removal was made by a Republican-led House investigative committee on Thursday.
The recent investigation brought to light the extensive campaign donor corruption, as well as an extramarital affair and other abuses of power, further solidifying the grounds for Paxton’s potential downfall. This development poses a significant threat to Paxton, who has been a prominent legal advocate for the Republican Party. In an unsuccessful attempt in 2020, he sought to overturn President Biden’s victory by appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Since 2015, Paxton has been under FBI investigation for securities fraud charges, and the culmination of the House committee’s investigation this week prompted Paxton to portray it as a politically motivated attack by Republican House Speaker Dade Phelan, whom he labeled as a “liberal.”
The House could vote on the recommendation as early as Friday, and if approved, Paxton would be compelled to immediately step down from his position. However, the timing of the vote remains uncertain as the Republican chair of the investigative committee, Representative Andrew Murr, has yet to determine a timeline for the process.
On the other hand, Philip Hilder, one of the criminal defense attorneys representing Paxton, argued that his client’s fate should be determined through legal proceedings rather than impeachment.
“These matters are appropriate for resolution in a judicial system, not in a political system,” Hilder told the Associated Press.
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Throughout its nearly 200-year history, only two Texas officials have faced impeachment and been removed from their positions.