Texas Impeachment Trial Begins
One of the most high-profile legal proceedings in recent Texas history begins today, as the impeachment trial of Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) gets underway in the state Senate. Paxton was impeached by House legislators in May on offenses including bribery, obstruction of justice, and misuse of public funds. The Republican-held chamber passed 20 articles of impeachment (read here) by a 121-23 vote.
The trial is the culmination of a monthslong probe launched after Paxton requested $3.3M of state funds to settle a whistleblower lawsuit. In the suit, former aides alleged they were wrongfully terminated after tipping off the FBI to improper dealings between Paxton and donor and real estate developer Nate Paul. Among other issues, Paul is said to have employed a woman with whom Paxton was having an extramarital affair in exchange for political favors.
A two-thirds majority of the Senate's 30 voting members—Paxton's wife, Angela, is the 31st member, but will not vote or deliberate—is required to remove Paxton from office. See the main players involved here.