Republican Texas AG Ken Paxton is acquitted of corruption charges at historic impeachment trial

Texas Leader CLEARED of Charges - Huge Victory!

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On Saturday, Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was acquitted of all corruption allegations during a historic impeachment trial, a judgment that validates the strength of the GOP’s extreme right and restores an accused incumbent who is still under FBI investigation to his position.

After years of criminal accusations and scandal, this result showed Paxton’s enduring endurance in America’s largest red state. More generally, the impeachment provided an unusual insight into internal conflicts among Republican candidates for national office in the run-up to the 2024 election, and the result was a major triumph for the conservative side of the Texas GOP.

“Today, the truth prevailed. The truth could not be buried by mudslinging politicians or their powerful benefactors,” Paxton said in a statement. He only attended a few hours of the two-week trial and was not there for the verdict.

Both serious testimony and some dramatic moments were on display during the trial. Former advisors have accused Paxton of misusing his position as Texas’ top lawyer by detailing how Paxton reportedly encouraged them to aid a political donor who was under FBI investigation. Some of the issues discussed during the testimony included who paid for home improvements, if Paxton utilized burner phones, and how his alleged extramarital affair affected the workplace.

Paxton rejected the allegations against him, and his lawyers contended there wasn’t enough evidence to convict him beyond a reasonable doubt. They painted Paxton as the innocent victim of a Republican rivalry conspiracy and alluded to political intrigues involving George P. Bush, the nephew of former President George W. Bush who ran against Paxton in the Republican primary election but came up short.

Paxton was endorsed in that race by former President Donald Trump, who reaffirmed his support in the waning days of the trial and applauded the verdict. “The Ken Paxton Victory is sooo BIG. WOW!!!” Trump posted on Truth Social, his social media platform.

After being impeached by the Republican-controlled Texas House in March, Paxton was acquitted by the Republican-controlled Texas Senate in April, where he serves alongside his wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton.

Angela Paxton was not given a voice in the decision-making process. But she didn’t miss a minute of the two weeks of hearings, including the dramatic moment when the lady who had an affair with the state senator’s husband was called to testify. Although she never testified, the woman’s association with Ken Paxton was key to a case in which Paxton was accused of going to potentially criminal lengths to help a local real estate developer named Nate Paul, who was at the time the subject of an FBI investigation.

It took over an hour for the jury to vote to acquit Paxton of all 16 counts of misconduct, bribery, and corruption. Impeachment managers never got more than two Republican senators to break party lines on any one accusation, despite needing nine.

Three of Paxton’s former subordinates who turned him in to the FBI in 2020 and testified against him sat in the Senate gallery to watch the verdict. One of them departed in the middle of the verdict as the acquittals began to pile up.

After the voting was over, Angela Paxton went to the defense team and embraced the attorneys representing her husband.

The nearly eight hours of deliberation among the 30 senators was a tough and seemingly earnest process, according to Democratic state Sen. Nathan Johnson. He then said, “And then it collapsed.”

According to Johnson, it became apparent there weren’t enough votes to convict, which may have swayed the opinions of certain senators.

“When enough people fall away from conviction, it exposes any remaining Republican to very strong attack from the right,” Johnson said. “We reached the wrong result and it was the result of political pressures.”

Sen. Royce West, another Democrat, claimed the discussions were civil. To paraphrase, “it was fluid,” he remarked.

This resolution does not put an end to Paxton’s problems. His attempts to overturn the 2020 election on flimsy grounds have resulted in him being charged with felony securities fraud, the subject of a second FBI investigation, and in danger of losing his license to practice law in Texas.

The federal inquiry into Paxton’s ties to real estate developer Paul began after eight of his former deputies tipped them off to the FBI in 2020. Two sources familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter confirmed that in August, federal prosecutors investigating Paxton took testimony before a grand jury in San Antonio.

In June, a grand jury indicted Paul on counts of bank fraud. He’s denied the charges against him. A retired Texas Ranger testified that he warned Paxton that he may go to jail if he helped Paul fight the federal authorities and the judge who were investigating him.

Despite legal issues and office instability, Paxton has been reelected twice, most recently in November.

Paxton rose to prominence nationally after beginning his career as a Tea Party insurgent in the state legislature and drawing praise from Trump and the extreme right of the Republican Party for his willingness to rush his office into controversial judicial battles throughout the country.

Republican Governor Greg Abbott immediately reinstated Paxton to his position without hesitation following the ruling.

“Attorney General Paxton has done an outstanding job representing Texas, especially pushing back against the Biden Administration,” Abbott said. “I look forward to continuing to work with him to secure the border and protect Texas from federal overreach.”

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