The bribery and corruption charges against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton were dropped because of his friendship with real estate developer Nate Paul.
The Texas Senate has cleared Attorney General Ken Paxton of all charges of corruption and unfitness for office that were brought against him.
Even though impeachment has backing from both parties, the number of votes needed to convict on each charge did not reach 21. All 12 Democrats and two Republicans, Robert Nichols and Kelly Hancock, voted to convict on several charges.
The Texas Senate got together to vote on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. central time and was done just before 1 p.m.
“The truth won out today. “Mudslinging politicians and their powerful backers couldn’t hide the truth,” Paxton said in a statement thanking his fans after the decision came out.
According to Paxton, the “weaponization” of impeachment is “immoral and corrupt,” has cost taxpayers millions of dollars, interfered with the work of the Office of the Attorney General, and left a dark and permanent stain on the Texas House.
“Now that this embarrassing process is over, I’ll go back to protecting our basic rights. “Thank you to everyone who has been there for us through this,” he said.
After the hearing was over, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott praised Paxton.
“The verdict is in. The Texas Constitution says that Attorney General Ken Paxton was given a fair hearing. Abbott said, “I look forward to continuing to work with the Attorney General to protect the border and keep the federal government from going too far into Texas.”
The 30 senators on the panel, most of whom are Republicans, talked for about eight hours behind closed doors after the Senate was done talking. To convict Paxton on any of the 16 articles of impeachment that charge him of bribery, corruption, and being unfit for office, two-thirds of the votes had to be in favor.
The voting took time and was open to the public. Each part of the impeachment got its own vote. The Senate is made up of 19 Republicans and 12 Democrats. If all Democrats decided to convict Paxton, they would need nine Republicans to vote with them. They got at most two.
People said that Paxton used his power as a politician to help Nate Paul, a real estate developer. Opponents of Paxton have said that the attorney general took a bribe when he hired Paul.
During final remarks, Republican state Rep. Andrew Murr, one of the impeachment managers in the Texas House, said, “If we don’t stop public officials from abusing their power, no one can.”
The lawyers for the joint group of lawmakers who are trying to get Paxton impeached finished their case on Wednesday. This was after a woman who was supposed to speak about a sexual affair with Paxton showed up at the trial unexpectedly but never took the stand.
The FBI was looking into Paul, who hired Laura Olson, and the affair was at the center of the case against him. One of the reasons for impeaching Paxton was that Paul’s decision to hire Olson was a bribe.
Paxton’s lawyers have said that the impeachment effort is an attempt by establishment Republicans to get rid of a proven conservative. They point to Paxton’s long history of challenging Democratic presidential administrations in high-profile court cases, which has earned him praise from former President Donald Trump and conservative hardliners.
Tony Buzbee, a lawyer for Paxton, said, “I think this is a political witch hunt.” “I would say that this trial has put on display for the whole country a fight between different groups within the Republican Party,” he said.
Paxton was also charged with making fake claims to banks back in June.
Paxton was suspended from his job until the trial ended, so he did not have to be there. He only showed up once during closing statements since evidence started last week. Angela Paxton, a state senator, and his wife sat on the other side of the room. She had to be there for the whole trial, but she couldn’t participate in the discussion or vote on how her husband’s case turned out.