On the day that the Texas Senate voted to give suspended Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton a pass on a litany of allegations filed against him, I got a flier in my mailbox that said something quite different.
Texans Against Public Corruption sent it out with brief testimonials from four prominent Texas conservatives who say that Paxton has destroyed public integrity with his willful conduct as the state AG.
Who are these folks? Former Gov. Rick Perry, former U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, U.S. Rep. Chip Roy and former state Sen. Konni Burton. Perry shames the Texas GOP for seeking to “delegitimize the impeachment process”; Roy said Paxton “must resign”; Burton wonders how a man who cheats on his wife can tell the truth to his constituents; Gohmert says bluntly that “the guy is corrupt.”
A two-week impeachment trial ended today with acquittals on 16 impeachment counts, with just two Republicans joining Democrats to convict a guy whom the House impeached in an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote.
The acquittal means Paxton can return to his job as AG, returning to the same sleazy atmosphere from which he was suspended after his impeachment.
I clearly was hoping for a different outcome, given the shame that Paxton has brought to the office he has disgraced since 2015. I won’t surrender totally to the political gods, though. He still has a state charge of securities fraud for which he eventually will stand trial and the federal government is continuing to examine other corruption allegations.
Just maybe there is a semblance of justice to be found. I was hoping it would arrive today in the Texas Senate chamber.