Acquittal Triumph: Ken Paxton, Renowned Texas Attorney, Cleared from All Charges in Impeachment Trial

Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been fully acquitted of corruption charges following a historic impeachment trial, reaffirming the power of the GOP’s hard right and restoring an indicted incumbent who remains under FBI investigation back into office.

This verdict demonstrates Paxton’s enduring resilience in America’s largest red state despite years of criminal charges and scandal. It also represents a significant victory for the Texas GOP’s rising conservative wing, highlighting the divisions among Republicans nationally as they head into 2024.

After three months, Paxton was acquitted by Senate Republicans, including his wife, State Sen. Angela Paxton, who attended the trial but was not allowed to vote. During the trial, a woman was called to testify about an affair she had with Paxton, but she never took the witness stand. Ultimately, all but two Senate Republicans voted to acquit Paxton on the 16 impeachment articles.

Paxton celebrated his victory, stating, “Today, the truth prevailed. The truth could not be buried by mudslinging politicians or their powerful benefactors. Seek the truth! And that is what was accomplished.”

In addition to his acquittal, four impeachment articles were dismissed by the Senate.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wasted no time in welcoming Paxton back to his position, despite a former Trump nominee testifying against Paxton for breaking the law to protect a political donor.

However, Paxton’s legal troubles are not over. He still faces trial on felony securities fraud charges, remains under FBI investigation, and may lose his ability to practice law in Texas for his baseless attempts to overturn the 2020 election.

The jury, consisting of 30 senators, deliberated for about eight hours before delivering the historic vote. The trial was presided over by Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who had said little about the case until after the trial concluded. Patrick criticized the impeachment process and vowed to pursue a constitutional change to prevent similar proceedings in the future.

Present at the impeachment vote were three former deputies of Paxton who reported him to the FBI in 2020. Their reactions were not visible after Paxton’s acquittal on the termination of whistleblowers article. Angela Paxton embraced her husband’s legal team before leaving the chamber.

For nearly a decade, Paxton has gained national attention by engaging in high-profile judicial battles across the U.S. This has earned him praise from Donald Trump and the GOP’s hard right.

During closing arguments, impeachment managers sought to portray Paxton as a corrupt official who needed to be removed from office. Paxton’s lawyer, Tony Buzbee, launched attacks on various figures involved in the impeachment, including George P. Bush, highlighting the FBI’s integrity and criticizing Texas’ political dynasty.

The case focused on allegations that Paxton used his office to help a donor who was indicted for making false statements to banks. Paxton’s former deputies reported him to the FBI, leading to a federal investigation that will continue regardless of the verdict.

Despite his acquittal, Paxton still faces numerous legal troubles, including the ongoing federal investigation, a bar disciplinary proceeding, and separate state securities fraud charges dating back to 2015.


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