The Texas House of Representatives has officially voted to impeach state Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican. The vote marks a historic occasion for the state as Paxton is only the third officeholder to be impeached in the state’s almost 200–year history.
The Attorney General, who had vocally opposed the impeachment, responded on Friday before the vote took place, calling it an “ugly spectacle” and an “illegal, unethical, and profoundly unjust” attack.
According to the Associated Press, the impeachment vote was primarily carried out by a Republican–dominated house. Following the vote, Paxton was suspended from his position until further notice. The issue will now move on the state’s Senate for deliberation and decision.
It is worth noting that Paxton’s ousting was primarily based on a Texas House Committee on General Investigating report, which outlined 20 articles of impeachment against the Attorney General over years of alleged abuse of power, bribery, and other accusations.
I am beyond grateful to have the support of millions of Texans who recognize that what we just witnessed is illegal, unethical, and profoundly unjust. I look forward to a quick resolution in the Texas Senate, where I have full confidence the process will be fair and just. pic.twitter.com/fEiAroA2DW
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) May 27, 2023
Regarding the accusations, Paxton has come out to speak against them, denying the claims and refused to resign from his post.
“Texans expect better of their elected officials and rightly so, but unfortunately, I am the victim of a coordinated political attack by power–hungry enemies,” he said in a statement prior to the vote. “As I have done since taking the office, I will continue to focus on my official duties and serving the people of Texas.”
Though Paxton has come out in strong opposition to the vote, the decision stands and now the fate of the Attorney General will be decided in the Senate. But regardless of the ruling, some Texas lawmakers still insist that the move was a political hit job.
In a fiery speech on the Texas House floor ahead of the vote, State Rep. Matt Shaheen said: “This process is not about good government. This is about power. This vote is about taking corruption and shaming out with full force and using the Texas House of Representatives as a weapon for political gain.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has yet to comment on the situation. The only statement released from the Governor’s office until now has been that he is closely monitoring the issue. It is now up to the Senate to decide what comes next.