The impeachment trial for suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton is set to begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the Senate chamber of the Texas Capitol.
The trial also will be live-streamed on the Texas Senate’s website.https://t.co/ok29yvx7PM
— StrictlyChristo 🇺🇦🌻 (@StrictlyChristo) September 4, 2023
Billionaires, burner phones, alleged bribes: The impeachment trial of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is going to test the will of Republicans senators to oust one of their own. https://t.co/ca0pwAbulm
— KPRC 2 Houston (@KPRC2) September 2, 2023
Per the Associated Press:
… The historic proceedings set to start in the state Senate Tuesday are the most serious threat yet to one of Texas’ most powerful figures after nine years engulfed by criminal charges, scandal and accusations of corruption. If convicted, Paxton — just the third official in Texas’ nearly 200-year history to be impeached — could be removed from office.
Witnesses called to testify could include Paxton and a woman with whom he has acknowledged having an extramarital affair. Members of the public hoping to watch from the gallery will have to line up for passes. And conservative activists have already bought up TV airtime and billboards, pressuring senators to acquit one of former President Donald Trump’s biggest defenders.
“It’s a very serious event but it’s a big-time show,” said Bill Miller, a longtime Austin lobbyist and a friend of Paxton. “Any way you cut it, it’s going to have the attention of anyone and everyone.”
The build-up to the trial has widened divisions among Texas Republicans that reflect the wider fissures roiling the party nationally heading into the 2024 election…
In 2018, Ken Paxton confessed to an affair and promised to recommit to his wife. But he didn’t — the first of many fateful choices, alleged crimes & coverups that will culminate this week in his historic trial. w/ @zachdespart @TexasTribune https://t.co/zpeKaefqbv
— Robert Downen (@RobertDownen_) September 4, 2023
As long as Paxton was ‘only’ swindling investors and robbing Texas taxpayers, his fellow Republicans couldn’t see any problems. But if he’s been committing unsanctioned sexual activity… (and, just incidentally, allowing another grifter access to the public cookie jar so that Paxton could keep enjoying his paramour’s cookies)…
In September 2018, Attorney General Ken Paxton gathered his staff to make a fateful confession.
With two months to go before Election Day — and holding hands with his wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton — the attorney general reportedly told them about an extramarital affair. He said it was over and swore to recommit to his marriage.
But Ken Paxton didn’t — the first in a series of consequential choices that Texas House impeachment managers say set off a chain of alleged crimes and coverups that, five years later, has culminated in one of the most dramatic moments in Texas political history. The once-in-a-century impeachment trial that starts Tuesday is expected to center on Paxton’s infidelity, and could air out the sordid details of the staunch, Christian conservative’s life as he sits just yards away from his wife, and her 30 Senate colleagues who will serve as jurors to decide her husband’s fate.
House impeachment managers argue that Paxton, driven in large part by his desire to continue and conceal the tryst, went to great, impeachable — and potentially criminal — lengths to hide the betrayal from his wife, and from the deeply religious voters who have sustained his political life for two decades.
Citing nearly 4,000 pages of documents that were released last month, impeachment managers allege that Paxton repeatedly abused his office to help real estate investor Nate Paul’s faltering businesses amid an FBI raid, looming bankruptcies and a litany of related lawsuits. In exchange, Paul allegedly hired Paxton’s girlfriend so that she could move to Austin and helped Paxton clandestinely meet with her through a secret Uber account that the two men shared.
House impeachment managers argue that Paxton had every reason to keep the affair quiet. They point to his apparent burner phones and secret email addresses as evidence that he worried infidelity could destroy his political career…
It’s a long piece, but if you’re a connoisseur of corruption, you’ll want to savor the whole thing.
Fast facts here:
The impeachment trial of Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general who faces accusations of repeatedly abusing his office to help a donor, is set to begin Tuesday in the state Senate. Here's what to know about Paxton and how his trial will unfold. https://t.co/iP1gejNKu9
— CNN (@CNN) September 4, 2023
(I knew Paxton was one of TFG’s cadre of official election deniers, but I did not know or had forgotten that Paxton was at the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally in DC on January 6th.)
Your cheat sheet to the Impeachment Trial of Warren Kenneth Paxton Jr. aka Ken Paxton
Adultery, bribery, and abuse of office! (Allegerdly.) Plus: Big-time lawyers! Billionaire donors! And burner phones!https://t.co/x1vaLhDaEb
— Forrest Wilder (@Forrest4Trees) August 31, 2023
… What are the stakes? They’re sky high, not just for Paxton but also for other powerful Texans. A conviction would probably spell the end of Paxton’s once promising career in Republican politics. It would also reflect poorly on the influence of staunch Paxton supporters, led by billionaire megadonor Tim Dunn, whose acolytes have been working mightily—and apparently legally—to tamper with the jury. They have publicly and privately threatened to lavishly fund primary challengers against any Republican senators who might vote against Paxton. A conviction would also put Dan Patrick, who rules the Senate with an iron fist and will preside over the trial of Paxton, in hot water with Dunn. The oilman’s political action committee gave Patrick $1 million in campaign cash and $2 million in loans—repayment of which the PAC can later forgive if it is pleased—shortly after Paxton was impeached. Dunn has been a generous supporter in the past, but that’s thirty times more than his PAC gave Patrick last year, when the lieutenant governor was actually up for election.
Even if Paxton is acquitted, he is considered likely to face federal criminal charges for some of the alleged misdeeds that led to his impeachment. And he would still face a state criminal trial that will take place after the impeachment proceedings, a full eight years after his indictment on felony securities-fraud charges.
An acquittal by the Senate, especially if followed by a conviction in federal court, would seem to set Patrick and his Republican majority up for major pain and embarrassment. Whether that outcome would hurt GOP senators at the polls remains to be seen. Regardless, it’s indisputable that an acquittal—given the piles of damning evidence against Paxton—would set a rotten example for the schoolchildren of Texas, other public officials, other lawyers, and so on. That prospect seemed very much on the minds of both Republicans and Democrats in the Texas House, led by Speaker Dade Phelan, when they voted overwhelmingly to indict Paxton. But in Patrick’s Senate, such considerations have taken a back seat to political calculations, mostly involving the wishes of big GOP campaign donors and primary voters.
Paxton is arguably the most powerful state AG in the country, a Donald Trump loyalist who, among many other actions on behalf of the far right, unsuccessfully sued four swing states in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. That loss bought him the love of the 3 percent of Texans who decide Republican primary elections, who see Paxton as eager to stand up and fight not only against Democrats but also against Republicans insufficiently loyal to the MAGA cause. Paxton has Trump’s enduring loyalty: the former president has called the impeachment “election interference.” …
— Texas Observer Lives! (@TexasObserver) September 1, 2023
Six attorneys left the AG’s Office within four days of the impeachment of Ken Paxton. They continue as employees of Office while working for a private law firm that is representing Paxton. They refuse to say what private party or parties are paying them. The situation smells. pic.twitter.com/tez2FUFPNt
— Jim Boyle (@JimGBoyle) September 1, 2023
1/ SHORT ??
Texas AG Ken Paxton's impeachment trial is scheduled to start Tuesday. Here are some must-follow reporters, many of whom have covered Paxton, the AG's office and this particular case, for years.
— Lauren McGaughy ?? (@lmcgaughy) August 30, 2023
– voters elected Paxton so he shouldn't be impeached
– voters elected Biden but he should be impeached
pick one https://t.co/5P07Qpuz0R
— Drew Savicki (@DrewSav) September 4, 2023
Any y'all know how much Paxton Impeachment Trial tix are going for? pic.twitter.com/rtL71XTjQn
— Evil MoPac (@EvilMopacATX) August 23, 2023