Texas Attorney General Paxton made national headlines when he asked the US Supreme Court to overturn President Biden’s election victory over his predecessor Trump. Now he has to temporarily vacate his post because of allegations of corruption.
Republican Attorney General and Attorney General of Texas Joe Paxton faces corruption charges and is provisionally impeached. The majority Republican legislature of the US state voted with a clear majority for a so-called impeachment. 121 MPs voted in favor of removing Paxton, 23 against, and two abstained.
Paxton faces charges of bribery, abuse of public trust and unfitness for office. Until the hearing before the Senate, he must now let his office rest. “The evidence is substantial. It’s alarming,” said Republican Congressman Andrew Murr.
“Illegal, unethical and deeply unjust”
Paxton, an ardent supporter of ex-President Donald Trump, was not clear despite the clear vote: “What we just saw is illegal, unethical and deeply unjust,” he wrote on Twitter.
He was backed by Trump personally, who declared on his own online platform Truth Social that those who voted for Paxton’s impeachment were “radical left-wing Democrats” and so-called RINOs – Republicans in name only.
Trump defends Paxton on his Truth Social platform.
20 counts against Paxton
On Thursday, a parliamentary commission of inquiry unanimously passed 20 charges against Paxton on charges of corruption, misuse of public funds, false testimony and obstruction of justice. According to the indictment, Paxton pressured his associates to protect a friend and financier from prosecution. In return, the financier of one of Paxton’s extramarital affairs allegedly got a job and paid for work on Paxton’s home, according to the documents.
The FBI has been investigating him for years. He is accused of using his office to help a donor. In a separate case, he was charged with securities fraud in 2015 but has not yet been brought to trial.
There are a number of allegations that have dogged him over the course of his three terms as Attorney General. It’s unclear when the Texas Senate will put him on trial. However, Paxton’s final ouster would require a two-thirds majority in the House of Lords, which includes Paxton’s wife, Angela.
The outcome of the process is completely open. However, support for the 60-year-old has recently dwindled within his own Republican Party. Even Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declined to back him before the vote. Abbott, also a Trump supporter, must now temporarily name a representative for Paxton.
Greg Abbott, Gov. of Texas, has to temporarily fill Paxton’s post.
Dozens of lawsuits against Biden administration
The ultra-conservative Paxton had repeatedly taken legal action against the policies of US President Joe Biden. As recently as Friday, he pointed out that his office had sued the Biden administration almost 50 times to reverse migration, tax and environmental policies.
Paxton also made national headlines in 2020 when he asked the US Supreme Court to overturn Biden’s election victory over his predecessor Trump.