Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was acquitted by the state Senate of all 16 impeachment articles filed against him.
Paxton was accused of misusing the powers of this office and helping Austin real estate investor and political donor Nate Paul, who was under federal investigation. Paxton was accused of “violating federal and/or state law including prohibitions related to improper influence, abuse of office, bribery and other potential criminal offenses” by seven members of the Attorney General’s Office in a letter sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in October of 2020.
All but two Republicans in the Texas Senate voted to acquit Paxton on every charge. State Senators Bob Nichols of Jacksonville and Kelly Hancock of North Richland Hills, both of whom are not up for re-election in 2026, joined Senate Democrats and voted to convict.
“The FBI is also investigating Paxton for the alleged misdeeds underpinning his impeachment,” reports Axios. “Paxton also faces eight-year-old state fraud charges, a whistleblower lawsuit and a state bar lawsuit over his role in challenging the 2020 election results that could end with his disbarment.”
Paxton was suspended after the Texas House voted to impeach him in May. He returned to his office following the state Senate’s vote.
“Today, the truth prevailed,” said Paxton in a statement on Sept. 16. “The truth could not be buried by mudslinging politicians or their powerful benefactors.”
He expressed his gratitude to the state senators “who followed the law and refused to overturn an election” as well as the 4.2 million Texans who voted for him in 2022. He also thanked his wife, state Senator Angela Paxton, who he described as a “brave woman of deep faith, unquestionable integrity and the light of our entire family.”
“The sham impeachment coordinated by the Biden Administration with the liberal House Speaker Dade Phelan and his kangaroo court has cost taxpayers millions of dollars, disrupted the works of the Office of Attorney General and left a dark permanent stain on the Texas House,” declared Paxton. “The weaponization of the impeachment process to settle political differences is not only wrong, it is immoral and corrupt.”
“Now that this shameful process is over, my work to defend our constitutional rights will resume,” he said.
He vowed to hold the Biden administration “accountable.”
“Your lawless policies will not go unchallenged,” the attorney general warned. “We will not allow you to shred the constitution and infringe on the rights of Texans.”
House Speaker Dade Phelan said the impeachment “was set in motion because Ken Paxton requested millions of taxpayer dollars to settle a lawsuit brought by conservative, senior employees who Paxton himself recruited to his office.”
“The Senate’s refusal to remove Ken Paxton from office is, however, not the end of this matter,” wrote Phelan in a statement. “Ken Paxton is the subject of multiple other lawsuits, indictments and investigations. If new facts continue to come out, those who allowed him to keep his office will have much to answer for.”
Governor Greg Abbott congratulated Paxton after the Senate’s decision was finalized.
“The jury has spoken. Attorney General Paxton received a fair trial as required by the Texas Constitution,” said the Republican in a press release on Sept. 16. “Attorney General Paxton has done an outstanding job representing Texas, especially pushing back against the Biden Administration.”
“I look forward to continuing to work with him to secure the border and protect Texas from federal overreach,” said Abbott.
Former President Donald Trump also celebrated the outcome of the trial, calling Paxton “one of the BEST!”
“Congratulations to the Great People of Texas, and the State Senate for rejecting POLITICAL PERSECUTION, and respecting the Integrity of our Elections,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “We should choose our elected officials by VOTING, not by weaponizing government.”