The GOP-controlled state Senate in Texas on Wednesday evening barred state Sen. Angela Paxton (R-TX) from voting in the upcoming impeachment trial of her husband, state Attorney General Ken Paxton.
Further, state Senators scheduled Ken Paxton’s trial to begin on September 5.
The GOP-led state House voted in May to impeach Paxton and suspend him pending trial after its Investigative Committee unanimously ruled to issue 20 articles of impeachment against the Attorney General.
The issuance of the articles, which include bribery, unfitness for office, disregard of official duty and abuse of public trust, comes as Paxton is under an FBI investigation for corruption. He is accused of using his office to assist a donor. Real estate execute Nate Paul was arrested and booked earlier this month in Austin on an undisclosed felony charge.
Just over a week ago, a judge ruled that Paxton’s upcoming securities fraud trial was to be moved to Houston from his hometown near Dallas, a victory for the prosecution. If convicted of the securities fraud charges, Paxton faces up to 99 years in prison.
It had initially been unclear whether Angela Paxton would recuse herself from her husband’s upcoming impeachment trial. However, even with the state Senate forcing her recusal this week, Ken Paxton still has numerous allies among the remaining 30 Senators who will vote on whether to convict him.
For example, the state Senate is led by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a Republican who, like Paxton, closely links himself with former President Trump. The pair have driven a right-wing policy push for the last decade.
“The citizens of Texas can count on the Senate of Texas to have a fair and just trial,” said Patrick amid Angela Paxton’s recusal.
Sen. Paxton has not publicly commented on the accusations against her husband.
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.