The Texas Tribune is your source for in-depth reporting on the Ken Paxton impeachment trial. Readers make that possible. Support authoritative Texas journalism with a donation now.
Ken Paxton’s impeachment trial: What to know
Paxton faces several allegations of wrongdoing
The Texas House impeached Attorney General Ken Paxton in May, leading to his immediate suspension from office. The House accusations included bribery, disregarding his official duty, making false statements and abusing the public trust. Impeachment managers submitted nearly 4,000 pages of evidence ahead of Paxton’s trial in the Senate. READ MORE.
The Texas Senate will act as impeachment jury
Texas senators will consider 16 of 20 impeachment articles. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick will act as judge. Witnesses will testify under oath, senator-jurors will deliberate privately and votes will be conducted without public debate. The attorney general’s wife, Sen. Angela Paxton, will sit as part of the court, but will not vote or deliberate. READ MORE.
The trial will feature several high-profile Texans
Ken Paxton’s impeachment trial involves a massive cast of elected officials, high-profile lawyers, whistleblowers from within his office, an indicted real estate investor and the attorney general’s former personal assistant. READ MORE.
A political donor is at the center of the accusations
As Austin real estate investor Nate Paul, a political donor to Ken Paxton, faced an FBI investigation, he complained to the attorney general that he was the target of conspiracies perpetrated by business rivals, judges and law enforcement. Paxton hired an outside attorney to investigate Paul’s claims against the advice of top aides. Paul has since been charged with eight felony counts of making false statements to financial institutions. READ MORE.
Paxton has been mired in legal trouble for years
One of the state’s most powerful Republicans, Paxton was indicted in Collin County for securities fraud in 2015, faces a State Bar of Texas lawsuit accusing him of lying to the U.S. Supreme Court in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election, and was sued by four executives who were fired from the attorney general’s office after reporting him to law enforcement. Paxton also faces a federal investigation into bribery accusations. Even so, Texas voters have continued to support him, reelecting Paxton in 2018 and 2022. READ MORE.
Ken Paxton has long positioned himself as one of the country’s strongest conservative attorneys general. In more than two terms as the state’s top lawyer, he has relentlessly sued the federal government over issues from immigration to health care and the environment.
But in May, the Texas House impeached Paxton on accusations of bribery, dereliction of duty and disregard of official duty. On Tuesday, the suspended attorney general’s trial in the Texas Senate begins. Paxton’s latest political battle comes after he has faced criminal investigations, legal battles and accusations of wrongdoing for years. Still, Texas voters have twice reelected him, most recently in November.
The trial is expected to hinge on his relationship with a real estate investor and political donor — and could prominently feature details of an alleged extramarital affair. Paxton’s attorneys argue that the allegations are baseless or fall under the legitimate duties of the attorney general’s office.
The full program is now LIVE for the 2023 Texas Tribune Festival, happening Sept. 21-23 in Austin. Explore the program featuring more than 100 unforgettable conversations coming to TribFest. Panel topics include the biggest 2024 races and what’s ahead, how big cities in Texas and around the country are changing, the integrity of upcoming elections and so much more. See the full program.