Trump, others react to Texas Attorney General Paxton's impeachment

Former President Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz denounced Paxton's impeachment, while state Rep. James Talarico spoke about accountability.
Posted at 8:50 AM, May 29, 2023

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suspended from his duties while he awaits his impeachment trial in the state Senate. 

Over the weekend, the Republican-controlled House voted overwhelmingly to impeach Paxton over allegations of bribery and corruption.

Texas lawmakers decided Monday that Paxton's impeachment trial would start by August 28th at the latest. He may fare better in the Senate, which includes more of his allies, including his own wife, Angela Paxton. She also holds his former seat in the state legislature.

Paxton was impeached by the GOP-led state House of Representatives by a vote of 121 to 23. 

The staunch conservative Republican is facing 20 impeachment charges, including bribery, fraud and abuse of office. He's accused of taking money to help a wealthy megadonor and then firing the aides who reported it. He's also accused of interference in federal elections. 

In a statement, Paxton called the whole thing a political stunt by the Republican leader of the Texas House.

Democratic state Rep. James Talarico said he hopes what happened in Texas over the weekend will set a precedent for holding corrupt public officials accountable. 

"Corrupt public officials, like Ken Paxton, are the rot at the core of our broken political system," he said. "Holding them accountable is our job as elected officials, and I hope that elected officials across the country will take note of what we've done here in the Texas House."

Texas state Attorney General Ken Paxton reads a statement at his office in Austin, Texas.

Texas House impeaches state Attorney General Ken Paxton

Texas lawmakers voted to impeach state Attorney General Ken Paxton in a bipartisan vote.


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott held the seat before Paxton. He has not yet commented on the impeachment. However, there's been a lot of other reaction pouring in over the weekend.

Former President Trump was praising Paxton on Truth Social, and he also called out Gov. Abbott, saying,"Missing in action! Where is the governor of Texas on his attorney general's impeachment?"

Trump also said that Paxton has his full support. No surprise there — in 2020, the Texas AG was one of those politicians who asked the Supreme Court to overturn President Joe Biden's victory in Trump's favor. 

Some other top Republicans and politicians reacted over the weekend and came to Paxton's defense.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz tweeted, "What is happening to Ken Paxton is a travesty. For the last nine years, Ken has been the strongest conservative AG in the country, bar none. No attorney general has battled the abuses of the Biden administration more ferociously — and more effectively — than has Paxton." 

"That is why the swamp in Austin wants him out," Cruz went on to say. "I understand people are concerned about Ken's legal challenges, but the courts should sort them out again."

Paxton's wife has not said whether she will vote on her husband's political future or whether she will be recusing herself in this trial.