Just like that, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is out of a job. It might be temporary, or … it could be a permanent removal.
The Texas House of Representatives voted today — overwhelmingly, I must add — to impeach Paxton, a move that removes him from his daily duties as the state’s chief law enforcer.
The vote to accept all 20 articles of impeachment was 121-23, with two members abstaining from a vote.
Wow, man! It’s just the third such impeachment in all of Texas’s history.
I have to say the testimony I heard today — and I didn’t settle in for all of it — had me wondering if the House of Reps would be able to do its job. Some House members argued that the body had too little time to hear all the evidence; they argued for a postponement to hear everything the House General Investigation Committee heard.
Well, at the end, Speaker Dade Phelan announced the vote. It wasn’t even close!
I had wondered in an earlier blog post about whether the Texas Republican legislative caucus would have the courage to impeach a fellow GOPer, or whether it would cower the way congressional Rs did when faced with impeaching a Republican POTUS.
I am so very happy to report that the Texas GOP legislative delegation is made of stern stuff. Most of them went along with the Investigation Committee recommendation to impeach Paxton.
The guy has disgraced his office, the state and those within his party. He has been under felony indictment for securities fraud since he took office. The FBI has been examining other complaints against him. To top it all off, the AG has asked Texas taxpayers to foot the bill on a $3.3 million settlement he reached with lawyers he fired after they blew the whistle on what they allege is extensive criminal behavior.
Uh, Mr. AG? I don’t want to pay a nickel.
Now the attorney general will take his seat in the peanut gallery and wait for a Senate trial that ought to commence fairly soon. The Legislature will adjourn early next week. The Senate will sit as jurors in a trial to determine whether to remove Paxton permanently.
None of this could have happened to a more deserving individual.