For several months now, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been sitting on the sidelines while his impeachment played out.
A GOP-run Texas House voted 121-23 to impeach Paxton on 20 articles. The House has 86 Republicans and 64 Democrats, so roughly 75% of Republicans voted to remove this man from office.
In the end, Paxton beat the charges, barely, as two GOP Senators sided with Democrats during the vote on 16 of the charges to impeach Paxton.
If you tuned in to watch any of the hearing, it was very well run by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick.
It was expedient but thorough. More importantly, opinion was kept out of the trial until its conclusion.
Everyone had their say, with the final vote coming down on Saturday.
The Senate voted on 16 of the 20 charges on Saturday.
On every charge, the vote was 16-14 in favor of acquittal. There are 31 Senate members, 19 of them being Republican, with Paxton's wife holding a seat, so she was not permitted to vote.
I had stated previously that this would be a close call because Paxton is not well-liked in the state government, but he managed to get 16 Senators to back him, so he was eventually acquitted.
After the 16 votes were held, a motion was made to dismiss the remaining four charges, and it successfully passed as well, giving Paxton a huge victory in the case.
If you live in Texas, you know Dan Patrick is generally a mild-mannered man.
Once the votes were in, Patrick unleashed on the House for what he claimed was a rushed process. It was one of the most scathing speeches I have heard him give.
In part, he stated:
“The speaker and his team rammed through the first impeachment of a statewide official in Texas in over 100 years while paying no attention to the precedent that the House set in every other impeachment before."
Again, keep in mind, that he is a Republican Speaker he just went off on.
His closing comments were only about 10 minutes long, but they are well worth listening to…
Paxton reacted as we would expect.
He came out pulling no punches once the verdict had officially come in.
Paxon, in part, stated:
“The sham impeachment coordinated by the Biden Administration with liberal House Speaker Dade Phelan and his kangaroo court has cost taxpayers millions of dollars, disrupted the work of the Office of Attorney General and left a dark and permanent stain on the Texas House.
“The weaponization of the impeachment process to settle political differences is not only wrong, it is immoral and corrupt.”
Paxton has always been someone who has been surrounded by controversy, but the man has no fear of going after the federal government, especially on matters related to the border.
That, of course, is why Texans overwhelmingly voted him into office in 2022.
Paxton easily won his primary and defeated his Democrat opponent, Rochelle Mercedes Garza, by just shy of 10 points. Paxton carried all but 21 of the 254 counties in Texas, taking losses mainly in the southern part of the state.
I knew the trail would be tight, but it was a big ask by Democrats to have nine Republicans cross the aisle to impeach Paxton.
As a Texan, I am glad this is over, and Paxton can return to fighting to keep the border secure.
One thing is for sure, however: they will never stop coming after Paxton until he leaves office.