In historic proceedings, the Texas House of Representatives voted to impeach the attorney general on allegations of abuse of office.
The Texas House of Representatives has voted to impeach Attorney General Ken Paxton, a conservative opposition figure and ally of former President Donald Trump, who has been accused by his fellow Republicans of abuse of office.
In the historic proceedings, the 149-member House of Representatives voted 121-23 on Saturday to impeach Paxton after hours of debate in which the lower house heard speeches from supporters. support and oppose impeachment.
Two members were present but did not vote while three members were absent.
Paxton will now be temporarily removed from office pending trial in the Senate, where his wife, Angela Paxton, is a senator. The Texas Senate is adjourned until 1 p.m. (18:00 GMT) on Sunday, according to its website.
Paxton denied the allegations and denounced the proceedings as “illegal, unethical and extremely unfair” in a statement on Twitter following Saturday’s vote.
“I look forward to a speedy resolution in the Texas Senate, where I have full confidence that the process will be fair and just,” he said.
In a message on his Truth Social social media channel ahead of the vote, Trump, who is seeking re-election in 2024, promised to “fight” Republicans in the Texas House of Representatives if Paxton was impeached.
20 articles of impeachment presented by a Republican-led House committee accuse Paxton of improperly assisting a wealthy political donor, conducting a sham investigation into whistleblowers in his office that he fired, and covered up his misconduct in a separate federal securities fraud case against him. , among other offenses.
The Paxton impeachment proceedings created a rift among Texas Republicans.
Some spoke enthusiastically in favor of the impeachment of the state’s top law enforcement official.
“Attorney General Paxton repeatedly and blatantly violated laws, rules, policies and procedures,” Representative David Spiller said ahead of the vote.
Others vehemently oppose it. John Smithee, a longtime conservative in the room, said he did not speak out for Paxton but criticized the process and said there was not enough evidence.
“There is not a word, not a single sentence in the testimony before you that can be admissible in any Texas court,” Smithee said. “It’s rumor within rumor within rumor.”
Paxton has taken a far-right stance on divisive cultural issues. He has sued the Biden administration nearly 50 times tried to prevent what he called “illegal autocratic policies” on issues, including immigration, gun rights and business regulation.
The five-member Texas House of Representatives Joint Investigative Committee voted unanimously on Thursday to recommend the impeachment and removal of Paxton.
Paxton easily won re-election last year after weathering a Republican primary challenge from George P Bush, a descendant of two former presidents.
The commission heard testimony from its investigators about Paxton’s alleged abuse of office over many years, including his offering to you and sponsor Nate Paul, an estate developer. property in Texas, FBI files related to the bureau’s investigation of Paul.
The articles of impeachment also accused Paxton of engaging in bribery when Paul hired a woman with whom Paxton was having an affair.