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Why is Ken Paxton being impeached?

Ken Paxton, the Attorney General of Texas, is facing impeachment proceedings after being accused of a number of wrongdoings, including bribery, retaliating against whistleblowers, and obstruction of justice.

why is ken paxton being impeached

The impeachment inquiry was launched in 2022 after four former senior employees of Paxton's office filed a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that he had abused his office to help a friend and political donor, Austin real estate investor Nate Paul. The lawsuit also alleged that Paxton had retaliated against the whistleblowers after they reported their concerns to federal and state investigators.

Investigators for the House General Investigating Committee, which is overseeing the impeachment inquiry, have interviewed dozens of witnesses and reviewed thousands of documents. On Wednesday, they presented their findings to the committee, which voted unanimously to recommend that Paxton be impeached and removed from office.

The committee's report found that Paxton had engaged in a pattern of misconduct, including:

  • Using his office to help Paul with various legal troubles, including a federal investigation into Paul's business practices.
  • Retaliating against the whistleblowers who reported their concerns about Paxton's actions.
  • Obstructing justice by trying to influence the investigation into his own alleged wrongdoing.

The report also found that Paxton had lied to the public about his actions. For example, he claimed that he had not been involved in helping Paul, but the report found that he had been in regular contact with Paul's lawyers and had even sent them a draft letter that they could use to defend Paul in the federal investigation.

The committee's report is now being sent to the full House of Representatives, which will decide whether to hold a trial on the impeachment charges. If the House votes to impeach Paxton, he would then be tried by the Senate. A two-thirds majority vote in the Senate would be required to convict Paxton and remove him from office.

Paxton has denied all of the allegations against him and has vowed to fight the impeachment proceedings. He has also filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the impeachment process.

The impeachment of Ken Paxton is a significant development in Texas politics. If he is convicted and removed from office, it would be the first time in state history that an Attorney General has been impeached. The outcome of the impeachment proceedings will also have implications for the 2024 Republican primary for governor, as Paxton is considered to be a potential candidate.

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