The Texas House May Impeach Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton
While the 88th Texas Legislative Session is winding down, some things are just now heating up. And Texans could witness something very rare, the impeachment of a state-wide officeholder.
On Wednesday, the House Committee on General Investigating heard allegations that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton abused his power and possibly violated laws according to the Dallas Morning News.
The investigators said there was evidence of abuse of official capacity, misuse of official information, misapplication of fiduciary property and accepting an improper gift by Paxton.
The committee adjourned without taking further action and committee chairman Rep. Andrew Murr, R-Junction, declined to comment.
Paxton quickly shot back, saying the allegations had no merit and intimating that House leadership was attempting to oust him.
So what happens next? Possibly impeachment. And it could happen as soon as Friday according to sources in Austin who asked not to be names. The Texas Constitution gives lawmakers the power to impeach certain elected officials. First, the House would vote for impeachment, then the Senate. According to the Dallas Morning News, if the House votes to impeach, Paxton would have to step aside until a later date.
First, a majority of the House must approve the impeachment. Then the Senate must hold a trial to evaluate the evidence. Two-thirds of the Senate must agree to convict and remove the person from office.
If the House impeaches Paxton, he must step aside from his official duties until the matter is settled, according to the Texas Constitution. The governor could name an interim attorney general during that time or leave the post vacant.
According to a tweet from Ryan Chandler who interviewed Chair Terry Canales, Canales believes the House has the votes to impeach Paxton. And that showdown could happen soon.
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