(Eric Gay/AP)

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Impeached by GOP-Led State House

Ken Paxton, the Republican Attorney General of Texas, was impeached on Saturday by the GOP-led Texas House of Representatives over multiple charges of corruption and abuse of power.


Ken Paxton, the Republican Attorney General of Texas, was impeached on Saturday by the GOP-led Texas House of Representatives over multiple charges of corruption and abuse of power.

  • Texas Republicans brought Paxton up on twenty charges including unfitness for office, disregard of official duties, dereliction of duty and bribery.
  • The Texas House voted 121-23 to impeach the GOP Attorney General, with two voting “present” and three abstentions. The vast majority of House Republicans voted to remove the attorney general of their party. Sixty Republicans supported impeachment, including House Speaker Dade Phelan, a moderate Republican and prominent Paxton foe.
  • AP News summarized the charges against Paxton: “The allegations include attempts to interfere in foreclosure lawsuits, improperly issuing legal opinions to benefit real estate developer Nate Paul, and firing, harassing and interfering with whistleblowers on Paxton’s staff.”
  • “Bribery charges stem from Paul allegedly employing a woman with whom Paxton had an affair in exchange for legal help and Paul allegedly paying for renovations to Paxton’s home. Other charges date back to Paxton’s pending 2015 felony securities fraud case, including lying to state investigators.”
  • Paxton denies all of the charges against him and issued a statement after the vote: “”The ugly spectacle in the Texas House today confirmed the outrageous impeachment plot against me was never meant to be fair or just… It was a politically motivated sham from the beginning.”
  • Attorney General Paxton has been under indictment for securities fraud since 2015, and his tenure has been rocked by revelations of an extramarital affair, a whistleblower complaint from his own deputies that sparked a federal investigation in 2020, but all of that that has not stopped him from twice winning reelection to his post.
  • After his impeachment, Paxton has been temporarily removed from office until the conclusion of his trial in the Senate. Two-thirds of the Senate, a body that includes his wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton, would need to vote to convict Paxton and bar him from future elective office in the Lone Star State.

reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times unpacked how Paxton has been able survive in office for long as he has since his 2015 indictment for securities fraud. J. David Goodman wrote, “Mr. Paxton has managed to survive it all, in large part because of the key role he has played as one of the most aggressive figures in the conservative legal movement. His challenges to the Obama and Biden administrations and his willingness to contest the results of the 2020 election garnered him the loyalty of Republican primary voters.”
  • Former President Donald Trump gave Paxton his full support hours before Republicans impeached the attorney general. “I love Texas, won it twice in landslides, and watched as many other friends, including Ken Paxton, came along with me,” Trump posted on Truth Social, per Politico. “Hopefully Republicans in the Texas House will agree that this is a very unfair process that should not be allowed to happen or proceed—I will fight you if it does.”
  • The Washington Post explored what comes next for Paxton. The Senate will vote on the charges, and impeachment managers for the House will make the case for conviction. If convicted, Paxton would immediately be removed from office.



  • The Wall Street Journal called the impeachment “an earthquake in Texas politics that makes Paxton the only statewide officeholder to have been impeached since 1917…Only two officials have been successfully impeached in Texas history: Former Texas Gov. James Ferguson in 1917 and state Judge O.P. Carrillo in the 1970s.”
  • Breitbart observed that even though Paxton was impeached on twenty counts, “The debate which lasted nearly four hours centered mostly around the process that some members believed was rushed and did not provide due process. Members of the General Investigations Committee laid out the facts they believe support the matter moving forward to a trial in the Texas Senate.”
  • National Review detailed some of Paxton’s other alleged offenses, including “accepting $100,000 for a legal-defense fund from an executive whose company was under investigation by his office for Medicaid fraud. Paxton also hired a man to a high-ranking job in his office whose parent had donated $50,000 to the fund. The man was ultimately fired for showing child pornography in a meeting in an attempt to make a point.”


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© Dominic Moore, 2023