A verdict was returned on Saturday in the impeachment trial of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick presided over the hearing. Paxton was brought up on 16 counts of impeachment. A conviction on one article would mean impeachment. The Texas AG needed 10 state senators out of 31 to vote to acquit.
Paxton was aquitted on all 16 counts. Senators Paul Bettencourt, Brian Birdwell, Donna Campbell, Brandon Creighton, Pete Flores, Bob Hall, Joan Huffman, Bryan Hughes, Phil King, Lois Kolkhorst, Mayes Middleton, Tan Parker, Charles Perry, Kevin Sparks, Drew Springer, and John Whitmire voted to acquit consistently.
Paxton received 16 nay votes and 14 in favor for most of the articles, and was acquitted on every one. On Article 5, he picked up an extra vote, with 13 in favor and 17 opposed. Article 8 saw an even bigger departure from the yay column, with only 8 voting to impeach and 22 opposed. He received 18 nays for Article 9. Votes on articles 11-14 were skipped, and then Patrick announced a vote on Article 17 after the votes on 15 and 16, for which Paxton was acquitted.
After the acquittal votes, a motion wsa brought to dismiss charges 11-14, and that motion was granted.
Article 10 was perhaps one of the more contentious of the batch. It alleged that "While holding office as attorney general, Warren Kenneth Paxton engaged in bribery in violation of Section 41, Article XVI, Texas Constitution. Specifically, Paxton benefited from Nate Paul providing renovations to Paxton's home. Paul received favorable legal assistant from, or specialized access to, the office of the attorney general."
The allegations are that Paul aided Paxton in facilitating an affair and provided renovations for his home. Paxton's wife, Angela, is also a state senator but was barred from voting in the impeachment trial due to the obvious conflict of interest.
An interesting moment came on day seven, when a witness for the prosecution revealed during questioning that it did not appear Paxton had made any renovations to his home, in contrast to what impeachment article 10 claims.
Attorney for Paxton, Tony Buzbee, questioned former Paxton personal assistant Andrew Wicker about the alleged renovations made to the Paxton’s home. Wicker had to admit that, despite the allegations, no renovations were made to the kitchen in question.
The impeachment trial opened on September 5, and was launched when he asked the Texas House to approve a payment of $3.3 million to former staff who had accused him of workplace abuse and were fired. The House didn't fund that settlement, and impeachment charges were brought.
The full articles of impeachment can be read here:
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