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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas AG Ken Paxton acquitted on all 16 articles of impeachment

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Photo by Photo via Wally Gobetz/Creative Commons/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was acquitted by the Texas Senate of all 16 articles of impeachment on Sept. 16. 

Paxton was charged with 20 counts of impeachment from the Texas House of Representatives in late May. The charges included allegations of disregard of official duty, misapplication of public resources, constitutional bribery, conspiracy and more.

It was revealed in early May that Paxton had been under review by the House General Investigating Committee since March due to his aim to settle a $3.3 million whistleblower lawsuit with Texas taxpayer funds. 

The whistleblowers were eight high-ranking officials from Paxton’s office who contacted the FBI in October 2020 to allege that Paxton used his office to help Nate Paul, a wealthy donor. 

Paxton’s office then fired four whistleblowers soon after, and they responded by filing a lawsuit against the office alleging he broke the Texas Whistleblower Law. The law states that if public employees report illegal misconduct, it is illegal to fire them as retaliation. The suit resulted in a $3.3 million settlement that Paxton allegedly requested be paid with taxpayer money this past legislative session.

The House then motioned to impeach Paxton in May, resulting in the 20 articles of impeachment in a 121-23 vote. However, the same result did not hold in the Senate, which had the authority to remove Paxton from office. 

Initially, the Texas Senate only took up 16 of the original 20 articles of impeachment for deliberation during the trial. 

Throughout the two-week trial, multiple witnesses, including high-ranking staff members from Paxton’s office, testified that Paxton had abused his office during his tenure. However, on Saturday, Sept. 16, none of the 16 articles received the required two-thirds vote to convict Paxton, acquitting him on all 16 articles. 

Paxton has since returned to his office as the Texas Attorney General as of Monday, Sept. 18. 

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