Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was acquitted Saturday, Sept. 16, of all 16 charges at a historic impeachment trial that divided Republicans over whether to remove a powerful defender of former President Donald Trump who has also challenged the sacrosanct establishment narrative that there was no significant election fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
The verdict reaffirmed Paxton’s national status in America’s biggest red state and is a broader victory for Texas’ hard right after an extraordinary trial that put on display fractures within the GOP nationally heading into the 2024 elections.
During remarks at the Heritage Foundation earlier this year, Paxton ventured where most elected officials and even conservative media dare not tread: Election fraud in 2020.
“What happened during Covid” is judges in liberal Texas counties ignored the law and decided mail-in ballots would go out to “everyone,” he said.
Paxton explained how liberal counties could send out and count mail-in ballots “until they get to the right number.” And they get away with fraud because “there is no signature verification, anyone can sign those ballots” and “we can’t prove” that they’re not valid.
Paxton was fully cleared by Senate Republicans, including his wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton. Angela Paxton was not allowed to vote. But she attended all two weeks of the trial, including the reading of the verdict, when all but two of her fellow 18 Republican senators consistently voted to acquit her husband on 16 impeachment articles that accused him of misconduct, bribery and corruption.
The Senate also voted to dismiss four impeachment articles that weren’t taken up at the trial.
Following the senators’ acquittal votes, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, president of the Senate and presiding officer of the court, signed the order of acquittal and reinstated Paxton as the Attorney General of the State of Texas.
The impeachment trial of Paxton, who has been called the only state "Attorney General courageous enough to challenge the [Biden] regime" got underway on Sept. 5 in the state Senate.
One of the more contentious of the charges was Article 10 that 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."
On day seven, a witness for the prosecution revealed during questioning that it did not appear Paxton had made any renovations to his home, as impeachment article 10 claimed, according to a report by Post Millennial.
In May, the state House voted 121-23 to impeach Paxton.
A two-thirds majority of the chamber — or 21 of the 31 senators — were required to vote against Paxton to secure a conviction. There are 19 Senate Republicans and 12 Democrats. If all 12 Democrats voted to convict Paxton, they still needed at least nine Republicans.
Paxton was suspended without pay when the House voted in May to impeach him.
The ambush impeachment of Paxton in May, led by RINO Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan, was backed by 60 of the 85 Republicans in the 150-seat state House, all of the chamber’s Democrats, and was applauded by all of the Biden regime media.
It was an “undemocratic assault on the will of the voters,” John Schlafly and Andy Schlafly wrote for the Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organization. “As pointed out during the brief debate on the Texas House floor, there was no justification for concealing the plot to remove Paxton from office until shortly prior to the vote.”
As WorldTribune.com reported on Aug. 7, quoting Revolver News:
Ken Paxton is probably the only Attorney General courageous enough to challenge the regime. If he was able, would he go after Biden and Mayorkas right now? Of course he would. This is the guy who sued the Biden administration many different times, including for forcing abortions in Texas and also over a phone app that increased illegal immigration into the country.
“In fact, Paxton has taken legal action against the Biden administration more than twenty times. Now, Ken finds himself unable to stop the tyranny that’s flowing like lava through Main Street USA, destroying everything in its path. Coincidence? Maybe, but most conservatives don’t buy it. They think this was a planned move from the regime that was carried out by the uniparty.Phelan “kept this under wraps until the end, there wasn’t a lot of time for Paxton’s defenders to react,” said Rice University political scientist Mark Jones.
Despite talk in August that Paxton planned to resign, he posted to social media that the rumors were “wrong” and that he’d “never stop fighting for the people of Texas and defending our conservative values.”
The Texas Scorecard last month asked readers if the Senate should dismiss the impeachment charges against Paxton: 90.8 percent said they wanted the impeachment charges dismissed, while 9.2 percent believe the trial should proceed.
Among the responses the Texas Scorecard received:
“This has got to stop! Our taxpayer dollars could be much better spent than on this circus show! The true investigation should be into Dade Phelan and his gang of cronies! Our state is being torn apart by all this division that is being put forth by a group who wants power, no matter the cost!” – Deb Hillis
“I believe that Paxton is being railroaded just like President Trump!” – Ruth Sherman
“Paxton is the most effective state AG in the history of the United States, which of course, is why Dick Weekly, Karl Rove, Dade Phelan, the Bush family, and the rest who believe the elites, rather than the voters, should decide who represents the citizenry, want to replace Paxton with a puppet.” – Spencer Siino
“Ken Paxton, the only person I have seen here in Texas that actually fights back against the Biden administration and its policies, is being wrongfully accused by the Democrats and RINOs. Gee, it is right before our very own eyes that they need rid of him because they like and want what the Biden admin wants, the destruction of our state, country, and way of life.” – Barbara Campbell
The outcome does not end Paxton‘s troubles. He still faces trial on felony securities fraud charges, remains under a separate FBI investigation and is in jeopardy of losing his ability to practice law in Texas because of what the Associated Press termed "his baseless attempts to overturn the 2020 election."