Everything you need to know about the impeachment trial of Texas AG Ken Paxton

Paxton has called the impeachment an "ugly spectacle" that is "illegal, unethical, and profoundly unjust," adding that "it was a politically motivated sham from the beginning."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

On Tuesday, the impeachment trial of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is set to begin for charges of bribery and abuse of public trust.

The case against Paxton appears to center around his relationship with Austin real estate developer Nate Paul, who was indicted over the summer after being accused of making false statements to banks in order to obtain $170 million in loans, the Associated Press reports.

Federal prosecutors in Washington last month began using a San Antonio grand jury to examine Paxton’s dealings with Paul, two people with knowledge of the matter told the outlet.

Ahead of the trial, impeachment managers filed around 4,000 pages of exhibits, including accusations that Paxton hid the use of multiple cell phones, and revealed other office perks.

According to the Dallas Morning News, House managers intend to call Paxton to the witness stand during the trial. While Paxton’s lawyers have said that Paxton will not testify, the managers have argued that he must take the stand if subpoenaed, though he can refuse to answer questions under the Fifth Amendment.

Paul, as well as Laura Olson, with whom Paxton is alleged to have an affair, are also on the list, as well as former Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore.

Paxton’s list of potential witnesses includes two senators who are also sitting as jurors during his trial, his wife Angela, and Bryan Hughes, a Republican referenced in the articles of impeachment.

The Republican-majority Texas House of Representatives voted in May to impeach Paxton 121-23 in May on articles that include disregard of official duty, misapplication of public resources, constitutional bribery, obstruction of justice, and false statements in official records. He has been suspended without pay since then.

The 31 state senators, of which 19 are Republican and 12 are Democrat, could vote on a motion from Paxton to throw out the trial, bringing the trial to an end on Tuesday.

His lawyers allege that he can’t be removed from office for the allegations set forth because of the "prior election doctrine" that they argue makes it illegal for an official to be removed for acts committed before their most recent election. Paxton was re-elected in November of 2022.

Paxton has called the impeachment an "ugly spectacle" that is "illegal, unethical, and profoundly unjust," adding that "it was a politically motivated sham from the beginning."

Trump spoke out in support of the Texas attorney general, slamming Republican Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan who introduced the articles of impeachment.

"So this is the RINO who is responsible for the Impeachment of a just re-Elected Attorney General of Texas who has done an outstanding job?" Trump said on Truth Social. "What is our Country coming to?"

In the months following the House’s impeachment, Paxton broke personal fundraising records, raising $1.7 million in 11 days.

Paxton has been applauded by Republicans for taking hard stances against Democrat policies, including declaring sex change operations and puberty blockers for children to be "child abuse," as well as urging for funding for increased school security programs.

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