Senator Barred From Voting on Impeachment Issue

Senator Barred From Voting on Impeachment Issue

( – The Texas House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted 121 to 23 to impeach their state’s hardline conservative attorney general, Ken Paxton (R), on 20 articles in a historic vote on Saturday, May 27, referring his case to the Texas Senate. All the senators but one will act as jurors in Paxton’s September 5 trial. On Wednesday, June 21, the Senate passed trial rules by a vote of 25 to 3, barring one member from voting or participating in the impeachment proceedings.

Angela Paxton (R) is a Texas state senator for District 8 and Ken Paxton’s wife. Even before the Senate met to discuss rules, Angela Paxton had issued a statement on Monday evening saying her oath to the Constitution and law of the state compelled her to fulfill her duty as a Senator and attend her husband’s impeachment proceedings “because the Constitution demands it and […] my constituents deserve it.”

Yet, the Republican-controlled Texas Senate voted on a resolution making Angela Paxton ineligible to participate in her husband’s impeachment proceedings because it constitutes a fundamental conflict of interest for the senator. She indicated she had voted against the resolution in a tweet. The resolution also prohibits senators from speaking publicly about the proceedings.

The attorney general faces conviction and removal if 21 of the 31 senators vote to convict him of the charges before the Senate. The Senate chose attorneys Rusty Hardin and Dick DeGuerin to prosecute the case in the Senate, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick will act as the judge over the proceedings. Senators will try only 16 of the 20 articles of impeachment.

Ken Paxton’s defense attorney, Don Cogdell, commented to the Houston Chronicle regarding the prosecutors’ comments that senators could try the case without bringing politics into it. Beyond Cogdell’s immediate response of “Nonsense,” he added that trying to convince anyone that politics wasn’t at play was akin to a guy “trying to convince his wife that he goes to the strip joint for the food.”

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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