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The Texas House will vote on the impeachment of Attorney General Ken Paxton on Saturday

AUSTIN, Texas – The GOP-led Texas House of Representatives will take up a resolution of impeachment on Saturday. Attorney General Ken PaxtonThis information was informed in a memorandum from the committee on Thursday filed 20 articles of impeachment against him.

According to the House Investigating Committee, debate on the impeachment resolution will begin at 2 p.m. The committee proposed four hours of debate, evenly split between supporters and supporters of impeachment, plus 40 minutes for committee members to open their arguments and 20 minutes for closing statements.

A simple majority of House members is needed to impeach Paxton. Republicans hold an 85-64 majority in the House — a commanding majority, but down from the party’s 40-plus seat edge as of 2017.

The House Investigative Committee on Thursday recommended 20 articles of impeachment against Paxton, including charges of bribery, obstruction of justice and abuse of public trust. Paxton was under investigation by the FBI over allegations that he used his office to help a donor and was separately indicted in 2015 on charges of securities fraud. CBS News Texas.

Paxton spoke to reporters Friday but did not directly address the allegations against him. Instead, he accused state House Republicans of being “determined to ignore the law.” He accused them of “setting out to do exactly what Joe Biden has been hoping to do since his first day in office: Sabotage our job, my job as attorney general in Texas.”

Texas Attorney General Impeachment Explainer

FILE – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. After years of legal and ethics scandals surrounding Paxton, the Republican attorney general of Texas, the state’s GOP-controlled House of Representatives is moving toward an impeachment vote that could be thrown out quickly. him from the office.

Jacqueline Martin/AP

According to a memo from Rep. Andrew Moore, chairman of the investigation committee, Paxton’s investigation began in March when he asked the House for $3.3 million in funding to settle a whistleblower lawsuit.

Paxton is a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump and filed a lawsuit Case to overturn presidential election in December 2020 The result of the major battleground state, which was later Thrown by the Supreme Court.

Paxton tweeted a statement Thursday accusing the investigative committee of using their unsubstantiated report to overturn the results of a free and fair election in the Texas House. Attorney General Chris Hilton, the attorney general’s chief prosecutor, said Thursday that the state House cannot move forward with impeachment for allegations that occurred before the last election. In Friday’s memo, the House Investigations Committee said this so-called “amnesty doctrine” “does not apply to impeachment.”

Paxton won a third term in November, defeating Democrat Rochelle Garza by nearly 10 points.

If the House votes to impeach Paxton, he will face trial in the Texas state Senate. According to the memo, the House will appoint its own members as “impeachment managers” to conduct the trial in the Senate.

The 2023 Texas legislative session ends on May 29 — a date known as “sign die,” or when all legislation must be sent to the governor’s desk. Although usually only the governor can recall lawmakers to a special session, the Texas Constitution states that the Senate can continue impeachment proceedings after the session ends.

Republicans hold a 19-12 majority in the Senate and need a two-thirds majority to remove him from office. But under the Texas state constitution, if Paxton were to be impeached, he would be immediately fired, pending a trial in the Senate.

The Senate has expelled lawmakers only twice, Gov. James Ferguson in 1917 and District Judge OP Carrillo in 1975. Former state Rep. Sherry Greenberg, assistant dean of the University of Texas-Austin’s Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, on Friday. Called the impeachment “earth-shattering”.

“It really set off a tidal wave,” Greenberg said. “This is a rare, we’ve only seen a few times in Texas history, impeachment of a public official.”

The recommendation to bring articles of impeachment against Paxton came weeks after extraordinary action by the House of Representatives. Republicans vote unanimously to expel Rep. Byron Slaton, who had resigned a day earlier. The House Investigating Committee, the same committee that conducted the investigation into Paxton, found that he had engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior with a 19-year-old intern.

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