Texas House votes to impeach Attorney General Ken Paxton
AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas House of Representatives voted 121-23 in favor of impeaching Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Saturday.
The House had to decide whether there was sufficient evidence to justify going to an impeachment trial. Now that the House has voted to approve the articles of impeachment, the matter will go to the state Senate.
“We will not tolerate corruption, bribery and abuse of power,” Rep. Andrew Murr, R-Junction, said in closing statements.
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The House General Investigating Committee laid out 20 articles of impeachment to the House members Thursday night. The articles, or accusations, are the result of a two-month investigation that began after Paxton’s proposal to use state funds to settle a $3.3 million whistleblower lawsuit filed by four former employees emerged.
The House General Investigating Committee called up the articles enumerated in House Resolution 2377 on Saturday for the House’s consideration. The committee scheduled four hours for debate: 40 minutes for opening arguments, 20 for closing and time evenly allocated for supporters and opponents to debate, per a memo from the House General Investigating Committee.
“We’re here today because the Attorney General asked the legislature to fund a multi-million dollar settlement against him,” said Rep. Charlie Geren, R- Fort Worth, a member of the House General Investigating Committee.
“We have a duty and obligation to protect the people of Texas from elected officials who have used their office for personal gain… we should not ignore and pretend it didn’t happen. Texas is better than that,” said Rep. David Spiller, R-Jacksboro.
“Based on the inaccuracies, falsehoods and misstatements provided in that testimony, the Texas House chose to proceed with the illegal impeachment of Attorney General Paxton,” the Office of the Attorney General wrote in a statement. It continued: “The General Investigating Committee’s politically motivated investigation against Attorney General Paxton is predicated on long-disproven claims grounded in hearsay and gossip.”