Texas’ GOP-led House Investigative Committee unanimously ruled Thursday to issue 20 articles of impeachment against state Attorney General Ken Paxton (R).
A full House vote on the articles, which include bribery, unfitness for office, disregard of official duty and abuse of public trust, could come as soon as Friday.
The issuance of the articles comes as Paxton is under an FBI investigation for corruption. He is accused of using his office to assist a donor.
Several Paxton aides told the FBI in 2020 that they had grown concerned that the attorney general was using his office to help Austin real estate developer Nate Paul regarding unproven claims of a conspiracy to steal $200 million of his properties.
The FBI had searched Nate’s home in 2019 but he has not been charged. His attorneys deny any wrongdoing on his part.
Other allegations against Paxton include attempts to interfere in foreclosure lawsuits and improperly issuing legal opinions to benefit Paul, as well as firing, harassing and interfering with staff who came forward.
The eight aides who reported Paxton to the FBI have all either been fired or quit. Four of them later sued under Texas’ whistleblower law.
Paxton settled their suit in February for $3.3 million.
The bribery charges reportedly stem from allegations that Paul employed a woman with whom Paxton had an affair in exchange for legal help, as well as allegations that Paul paid for pricey renovations on Paxton’s home.
Additionally, Paxton was indicted in 2015 for securities and fraud charges, though he has not yet faced trial.
Only twice before in Texas’ history has its state House impeached a sitting official: Gov. James Ferguson (D) in 1917 and state Judge O.P. Carrillo in 1975.