" "

Texas Senate acquits Ken Paxton in historic impeachment trial

0 214

The Texas Senate has acquitted Ken Paxton, the state’s Republican attorney general, of bribery and corruption charges. This decision marks a significant turning point, allowing Paxton to return to office after a suspension that lasted over three months.

The suspension was the result of a resounding vote by fellow Republicans in the House of Representatives who sought his removal due to allegations of abuse of power.

Paxton, a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump, hailed the Senate’s verdict as a triumph for truth. He stated, “Today, the truth prevailed. The truth could not be buried by mudslinging politicians or their powerful benefactors.” Trump himself welcomed the outcome, congratulating Paxton for what he termed a “great and historic Texas-sized victory.”

Paxton, who gained national prominence for challenging the policies of Democratic President Joe Biden through numerous lawsuits, had been facing 16 articles of impeachment.

The trial, which commenced on September 5, featured extensive testimonies from former top aides who alleged corrupt practices by Paxton. These practices included using his office’s authority to shield wealthy political donor and real estate developer Nate Paul from federal investigations. In return, it was alleged that Paul facilitated an extramarital affair for Paxton and funded home renovations for him.

To secure a conviction, two-thirds of Texas’s 31 senators (21 senators) needed to vote guilty on any single article of impeachment. However, no single article received more than 14 senators’ votes in favor of finding Paxton guilty. Notably, Paxton’s wife, Angela Paxton, who is also a state senator, was not permitted to vote in the proceedings.

The trial laid bare divisions within the Texas Republican Party, with social conservatives, who have held significant influence for the past decade, supporting Paxton, while traditional conservatives condemned his actions as bringing shame to the party and the state.

Back in May, the Texas House voted 121-23 to impeach Paxton on 20 articles, making him the third sitting politician in the state’s 178-year history to face impeachment. The trial stemmed from Paxton’s request earlier in the year for House lawmakers to approve a $3.3 million settlement he had reached with former staff members who had accused him of abuse of office in 2020, and who were subsequently terminated. However, the state lawmakers did not fund this settlement.

Following the conclusion of Saturday’s impeachment proceedings, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, a Republican who presided over the trial as the president of the Senate, criticized the process as rushed and lacking in transparency. He expressed regret over the millions of taxpayers’ dollars spent on the impeachment and hoped it would not be repeated.

Despite the acquittal, Paxton’s critics voiced their disapproval. Senator Roland Gutierrez, a Democrat who voted to convict Paxton, criticized a “broken and corrupt system” that, in his view, allowed Paxton to abuse the powers of his office. He stated, “Texas Republicans decided that the corruption and lies of people like Ken Paxton…are fine by them.”

In the aftermath of the verdict, Republican Governor Greg Abbott welcomed Paxton back to his role without reservations, praising his efforts to challenge the Biden Administration’s policies. Abbott expressed his anticipation of continued collaboration with Paxton to secure the border and protect Texas from federal overreach.

However, the acquittal does not mark the end of Paxton’s legal challenges. He still faces trial on felony securities fraud charges, remains under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and faces potential consequences that could affect his ability to practice law in Texas due to his baseless attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

About Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © Muslim Media Corporation, New York. All rights reserved.