On Thursday, a Texas House committee unanimously recommended that state attorney general Ken Paxton should be impeached.
The House of Representatives of the state could vote on this recommendation as early as Friday.
The five-member GOP-led investigative committee met Wednesday to discuss the allegations of wrongdoing against Paxton, a fellow Republican and the state’s top lawyer.
Investigators from the House General Investigating Committee informed the pane that there was evidence Paxton had broken state laws repeatedly, including abuse of authority, misuse of information and retaliation.
Paxton Tweeted that the allegations against him are based on “hearsay, gossip and parroting of long-disproven statements” and being promoted by “RINOs”, Republicans only in name.
Chris Hilton, chief of general litigation in Paxton’s Office, called the investigation by the committee “illegal.” He stated that “impeachment in Paxton’s situation is totally foreclosed under Texas law,” because the alleged misconduct dates back to before his recent election.
Paxton has been accused of many things dating back to years.
He has been waiting for trial since 2015 on charges of state securities fraud. In 2020, four of his former aides filed a lawsuit against him. They claimed that he fired the aides because they reported him to federal authorities for allegedly accepting bribes and for using his office to assist one of his campaign donors.
The parties settled earlier this year for $3.3 Million, but the Texas Legislature refused to use taxpayer money to cover the settlement. The House Committee began its investigation after the settlement agreement.
Paxton’s Office, which didn’t immediately respond to an inquiry for comment on Thursday evening, denied any wrongdoing, and said that all allegations against him were politically motivated.
The Texas Tribune reported that if the entire House votes to impeach Paxton he would be immediately removed pending the conclusion of a trial in the state Senate on the charges.
Hilton told reporters that the voters in Austin were aware of Paxton’s allegations, but re-elected Paxton this past November. Hilton told reporters in Austin that “the voters have spoken – they want Ken Paxton to be their attorney general.”
The Associated Press also contributed.