Politics

Republicans Reject Motions To Dismiss Impeachment Articles Against Texas AG Ken Paxton

Authored by Jana J. Pruet via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The Texas Senate chamber was became a courtroom for the historic impeachment trial of state Attorney General Ken Paxton, which kicked off Tuesday morning on the state Capitol in Austin, Texas.

Texas state Attorney General Ken Paxton (C) stands between his attorneys Tony Buzbee (entrance) and Dan Cogdell (rear) because the articles of his impeachment are learn throughout the his impeachment trial within the Senate Chamber on the Texas Capitol in Austin on Sept. 5, 2023. (Eric Gay/AP Photo)

After the swearing-in of the 30 senators who will determine whether or not or to not take away Mr. Paxton from workplace, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick started ticking off the pretrial motions earlier than listening to opening statements.

Mr. Paxton was impeached on 20 articles in late May by the GOP-led House of Representatives in a vote of 121–23. He is barely the third sitting official to be impeached within the state’s practically 200-year historical past. The final impeachment case was greater than a century in the past.

The articles of impeachment embrace allegations of abuse of energy and bribery, amongst others. Mr. Paxton and his attorneys have maintained that the entire accusations are false.

The suspended legal professional common is called probably the most conservative lawmakers within the state of Texas. He has filed greater than two dozen lawsuits towards the Biden administration since President Joe Biden took workplace in January 2021.

Dozens of Paxton supporters sporting purple shirts confirmed as much as witness the proceedings.

Pretrial Motions

The first half of the day was spent dealing with dozens of pretrial motions to dismiss the articles of impeachment, exclude sure proof, and different issues as filed by Mr. Paxton’s authorized workforce—all have been denied.

A easy majority, 16 of the 30 voting members, was wanted to approve every of the motions. The most help Mr. Paxton obtained was 10 votes of 30 to dismiss one article. Many of the motions solely garnered six to eight votes in Mr. Paxton’s favor.

Mr. Paxton’s spouse, Sen. Angela Paxton, watched from her Senate seat because the proceedings towards her husband started. She is barred from voting or collaborating within the trial, based on the foundations accredited earlier this summer season.

Of the Senate Republicans, solely six voted in help of Paxton to dismiss each article. They have been Sens. Paul Bettencourt, Donna Campbell, Brandon Creighton, Bob Hall, Lois Kolkhorst, and Tan Parker.

Five different Republicans voted to dismiss not less than one of many motions: Sens. Bryan Hughes, Charles Perry, Charles Schwertner, and Kevin Sparks.

The remaining Republicans, Sens. Brian Birdwell, Pete Flores, Kelly Hancock, Joan Huffman, Mayes Middleton, Robert Nichols, and Drew Springer, voted towards each movement alongside the 12 Senate Democrats.

In a abstract judgment, Mr. Paxton’s attorneys argued that the entire impeachment articles lacked supporting proof and, subsequently, must be dismissed.

The senators denied the primary movement to dismiss all 20 articles in a vote of 24–6.

In a win for Mr. Paxton, he was granted a request to preclude him from testifying, citing a defendent’s proper to not be referred to as as a witness in a prison trial.

The attorney general cannot be compelled to testify,” Mr. Patrick acknowledged, including that the choice is “consistent with the reasoning and judgment” of the United States Supreme Court.

Mr. Patrick additionally laid out the timing for the trial. Each aspect will likely be allowed one hour for opening and shutting statements and 24 hours for both sides to current proof, questioning, and cross-examination of witnesses. The trial is anticipated to final about two weeks.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick presides over the impeachment trial for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton within the Senate Chamber on the Texas Capitol in Austin, Texas, on Sept. 5, 2023. (Eric Gay/AP Photo)

House Impeachment Managers’ Opening Statements

House Rep. Andrew Murr offered the opening statements for House impeachment managers who say Mr. Paxton must be faraway from workplace regardless of being re-elected to a 3rd time period in November.

House impeachment managers have accused Mr. Paxton of utilizing his place to guard actual property investor Nate Paul, who they declare had the “keys” to the legal professional common’s workplace.

They allege Mr. Paul helped Mr. Paxton cowl up an extramarital affair and paid for a house renovation in trade for the legal professional common’s authorized assist.

Voters did not know the whole truth.” Mr. Murr stated. “Mr. Paxton went to great lengths to hide his misconduct from the public.”

Mr. Murr spent lower than 20 minutes citing impeachable actions that included accusations that Mr. Paxton used burner telephones, “ditched” his safety element, and arrange secret electronic mail addresses to cowl up his alleged misconduct.

He claims the proof will present Mr. Paxton’s “slow creep of corruption,” including that the legal professional common’s conduct doesn’t must be confirmed prison for him to be faraway from workplace.

“We don’t have to show some type of quid pro quo to establish that his conduct warrants impeachment,” Mr. Murr stated. “Wrongs justifying impeachment don’t have to be crimes. Wrongs justifying the impeachment are broader than that because they have the purpose of protecting the state, not punishing the offender.”

Opening Statements for Paxton

High-profile Houston legal professional Tony Buzbee referred to as the whole case a “whole lot of nothing” supported by no proof.

Mr. Buzbee and protection legal professional Dan Cogdell used practically their full hour pushing again towards the accusations they are saying will likely be disproven past an inexpensive doubt.

They accused the media of fueling the falsehoods towards their shopper and stated the gag order issued by Mr. Patrick prevented them from responding to the “manufactured lies” leveled towards their shopper.

Now, the House needs 30 individuals to determine whether or not Mr. Paxton is allowed to serve his workplace regardless of the greater than 4.2 million who re-elected him lower than a 12 months in the past. Mr. Buzbee stated.

Mr. Buzbee identified the speedy impeachment course of that occurred 4 days after Mr. Paxton referred to as for House Speaker Dade Phelan’s resignation over accusations of drunkenness whereas presiding on the ground.

The lawyer additionally pushed again towards accusations that Mr. Paul gave a job to the girl Mr. Paxton allegedly was having an affair with, including that they might current the girl’s job utility, worker contract, and paystubs to disprove the allegations of bribery. He stated the girl was employed to do actual work and that she remains to be employed in that place.

“You’re going to see her face,” Mr. Buzbee stated. “You’re going to hear about the work that she did. And you’re also going to hear that she continues to do that work today. She’s doing real work.”

He stated the accusations of burner telephones, secret electronic mail addresses, and different actions are false.

Mr. Buzbee stated his workforce will current proof that the Paxtons paid for the repairs to their dwelling after it sustained water injury. He stated the chatter of $20,000 granite counter tops is totally unfaithful, including that the house nonetheless has “ratty” counter tops after the couple shopped for brand spanking new counter tops however in the end determined towards them resulting from prices.

House impeachment managers additionally accused the legal professional common of hiring Brandon Cammack, a Houston lawyer, to research Mr. Paul’s “baseless complaint” that his dwelling and companies have been improperly searched by federal officers. Mr. Buzbee stated Mr. Paxton was inside his rights to rent the surface lawyer.

After wrapping up the opening statements, House impeachment managers referred to as their first witness, Jeff Mateer. Mr. Mateer was second-in-command in Mr. Paxton’s workplace previous to his resignation in 2020, following his assembly with the FBI relating to the connection between Mr. Paxton and Mr. Paul.

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