As C&L has previously reported, Paxton has been in increasingly hot water as a Texas House committee has been investigating his corruption. On Friday, the Republican-controlled committee voted to recommend 20 counts of impeachment.
Next, the Texas House will decide whether to approve the impeachment articles and, after a trial in the state Senate, Paxton could be removed from office, The Texas Tribune explains.
It’s not exactly news that Paxton is corrupt. Criminal charges have been pending against him since 2015 and that’s only the beginning.
More from The Tribune:
During Wednesday’s hearing, investigators told the committee’s three Republicans and two Democrats about allegations that Paxton had repeatedly abused his office to help a friend and political donor, Austin real estate investor Nate Paul. They largely relied on claims made by four former senior employees who filed a whistleblower lawsuit in 2022 arguing that Paxton improperly fired them after they reported concerns about Paxton’s actions to federal and state investigators.
The committee investigators said Paxton may have committed at least three felonies in an effort to help Paul with various legal troubles. These included spending $72,000 in staff labor on tasks that benefited the developer, providing Paul with an internal FBI file related to an investigation into Paul, and hiring an outside lawyer for $25,000 to conduct work that primarily benefited Paul.
Committee investigators also discussed criminal charges that have been pending against Paxton since 2015, when a Collin County grand jury indicted him on two counts of felony securities fraud related to private business deals in 2011. According to those charges, Paxton solicited investors into Servergy Inc. without disclosing that the McKinney tech company was paying him to promote its stock.
So why do Paxton’s Republican pals suddenly care? Not surprisingly, politics seem to have a lot to do with it. This week, I wrote about the GOP civil war between Paxton and House Speaker Dade Phelan. Paxton called for Phelan to be investigated and to resign after a video of him, apparently so schnockered that he was unable to speak coherently on the House floor, went viral.
Another factor is that Paxton wanted the legislature to pay $3.3 million to settle his whistleblower cases. Phelan balked. He said “he felt that Mr. Paxton had not sufficiently explained why the state should finance the settlement,” and called for an investigation into it The New York Times reported.
And now we’re here.
Will Paxton actually be impeached or pushed out of office? Dallas TV station WFAA points out that there’s a question as to whether Paxton can be impeached for crimes that happened before he was re-elected in 2022. Also, he is popular in MAGA world, The Tribune notes. But it also notes that Texas’ Republican governor and lieutenant governor have remained silent on the matter.