AUSTIN — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton continued Friday to blame his potential impeachment on partisan actors working in the Texas House, accusing members of the House of sabotage during a news conference.
The Texas House General Investigating Committee on Thursday recommended Paxton be impeached, releasing a list of 20 accusations against the state’s top attorney, including bribery and abuse of office. The full House is set to consider his impeachment on Saturday.
At his news conference, Paxton called members of the House “corrupt” and added, “Every politician who supports this deceitful impeachment attempt will inflict lasting damage on the credibility of the Texas House.”
Paxton, a Republican, said the reason the inquiry began in the first place is because of his strong stance against the Biden administration, which he frequently sues. He also highlighted many of the recent lawsuits he has launched against the federal government.
“This is solely because of the relentless challenges I bring against Biden's unconstitutional policy agenda,” he said.
The initial investigation stems from a whistleblower lawsuit involving four top-ranking officials working within the Office of the Attorney General. The lawsuit was settled in February for $3.3 million.
Paxton, at his news conference, said the accusations against him are false, but he did not provide any counterevidence. He also refused to take questions from the media.
Chris Hilton, the Office of the Attorney General’s chief of general litigation, also said the accusations were meritless.
One accusation is that Paxton’s real estate developer friend and campaign donor, Nate Paul, renovated Paxton’s home for legal favors. Hilton said Paxton paid for all of the renovations himself but did not clarify whether Paxton offered legal help to Paul using office resources.
“This is an undemocratic and morally reprehensible attempt to overturn the will of millions of Texas voters,” Hilton said. “The members (of the House) should be insulted that they're going to be asked to take a vote on this tomorrow.”
Hilton said the House committee is using the $3.3 million settlement between Paxton and Paul, and the claim that it would be on Texas taxpayers to foot the bill, as the catalyst for the investigation, even though he said Paxton made clear during the settlement negotiations that the Legislature has the final word on spending.
Hilton did not take questions from the news media.
Should the House vote to impeach Paxton, he would be suspended immediately but would still face a trial in the Senate, where his wife, Angela, holds public office as a state senator. If the Senate were to convict him, he would formally be removed from office.
Since the release of the accusations, Paxton has garnered support from the state Republican Party and former President Donald Trump.
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