The Texas state House of Representatives will vote Saturday on the recommendation to impeach Attorney General Ken Paxton, the Washington Examiner reported. If successful, Texas law would require Paxton's immediate removal from office.
Paxton is embroiled in many scandals that came to light after an investigation that implicates him in several federal and state crimes. In order to proceed with impeachment, the measure would need a two-thirds vote.
The attorney general has declared his innocence and instead accuses lawmakers of attempting to overturn his November reelection. “They are determined to ignore the law," Paxton claimed at a Friday news conference.
"They have denied me the opportunity to present the evidence which contradicts their politically motivated narrative, and they are showcasing their absolute contempt for the electoral process." However, some of Paxton's alleged wrongdoing can be traced back years.
In 2015, Paxton was criminally charged for practicing law without being registered properly with the state board. His trial for that allegation was to take place in 2017 but has faced numerous delays.
He is also accused of refusing to pay the $3.3 million settlement he was ordered to give to four of his former aides, Bloomberg Law reported. Notably, he is accused of retaliating against them for blowing the whistle on his alleged corruption.
The attorney general has never admitted wrongdoing in that case either but did apologize publicly. However, Paxton said he only settled that case in mediation to "save taxpayer dollars and ensure my third term as Attorney General is unburdened by unnecessary distractions."
Paxton's impeachment woes come on the heels of his calls for Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan to resign. Phelan allegedly conducted official business on the floor of the statehouse while intoxicated.
“After much consideration, it is with profound disappointment that I call on Speaker Dade Phelan to resign at the end of this legislative session,” a statement from Paxton explained. “Texans were dismayed to witness his performance presiding over the Texas House in a state of apparent debilitating intoxication.”
Some of Paxton's political allies believe the impeachment is nothing more than a partisan attack, the Texas Tribune reported. Phelan and other GOP colleagues have been accused of being RINOs intent on getting Paxton out of office.
“The impeachment proceedings against the Attorney General are but the latest front in the Texas House’s war against Republicans to stop the conservative direction of our state,” Republican Party of Texas Chairman Matt Rindald said in a statement. “This sham impeachment is the result of the Phelan leadership team empowering Democrats, allowing them to hold leadership positions and letting them control the agenda.”
Michael Quinn Sullivan, who publishes the conservative Texas Scorecard, echoed claims of a political witch hunt."Get one thing straight: The impeachment of Ken Paxton by the Texas House is driven by the crony establishment that wants to get along with the Biden administration."
There is certainly a battle raging in Texas between the staunch conservatives and left-leaning Republicans. Whether Paxton has been caught up in that or is truly guilty of wrongdoing is still unclear, but perhaps it would be best for him to have his day in court after all.