Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) praised Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton following Paxton’s acquittal after the Republican was impeached and hit with allegations of corruption and abuse of public office.
In a statement shortly after the Texas Senate voted on Saturday to acquit Paxton of the 16 impeachment articles he faced, Abbott said that he looked forward to working with Paxton and praised his previous work as the state’s top lawyer. The state House impeached Paxton back in May, accusing him of doing favors for an Austin real estate developer and campaign backer Nate Paul as Paul was being investigated by the FBI.
“The jury has spoken. Attorney General Paxton received a fair trial as required by the Texas Constitution. Attorney General Paxton has done an outstanding job representing Texas, especially pushing back against the Biden administration. I look forward to continuing to work with him to secure the border and protect Texas from federal overreach,” Abbott said in a statement.
None of the impeachment articles, which required a two-thirds majority of the Senate, ever received even a simple majority vote in favor. Senator Kelly Hancock and Senator Robert Nichols were the only Republicans to vote for any of the impeachment articles.
“Today, the truth prevailed,” Paxton said after the vote. “I’ve said many times: See the truth! And that is what was accomplished.”
“I also thank my legal team for exposing the absurdity of these false allegations,” Paxton said. “The weaponization of the impeachment process to settle political differences is not only wrong, it is immoral and corrupt.”
He said that the impeachment was coordinated by the Biden administration and “liberal House Speaker Dade Phelan.”
The impeachment managers in the House alleged that Paxton accepted bribes from Paul, one in the form of an agreement to hire Paxton’s alleged mistress. Paul also allegedly renovated Paxton’s home. In exchange, Paxton allegedly aided Paul when he was under investigation by the FBI.
Prosecutors brought in various former members of Paxton’s office and staff to testify against the attorney general. Several former prosecutors who worked for the attorney general reported Paxton to the FBI in 2020 over the attorney general’s connections with Paul.
Rep. Andrew Murr, who managed the impeachment, said the House did its best to make the case against Paxton.
“We did our duty to bring the evidence into the sunlight through this impeachment process,” he said. “I know that we presented a factual, credible case. I would not do anything differently.”
As a result of the acquittal, Paxton was reinstated to his duties as attorney general after being suspended following impeachment.