Tuesday, Oct. 03, 2023|
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AUSTIN, Texas — A historic impeachment trial in Texas to determine whether Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton should be permanently removed from office will begin no later than August in the state Senate, where the jury that would determine his future could include his wife, Sen. Angela Paxton.
Setting a schedule was one of the last orders of business lawmakers took Monday during a sluggish end to this year’s legislative session in Texas, where the impeachment laid bare fractures in America’s biggest red state beyond whether Republicans will oust one of the GOP’s conservative legal stars.
It drags Republicans — who for years have pushed fast-changing Texas farther to the right — into a summer of unfinished business and soured feelings that are likely to spill into 2024’s elections.
As time ran out for lawmakers on Memorial Day, expectations mounted that Republican Gov. Greg Abbott would order them back to work.
“I would not pack your bags just yet,” Republican House Speaker Dade Phelan told lawmakers before adjourning.
At the center of the conflict is Paxton, who the GOP-controlled House overwhelmingly impeached this weekend on charges that include bribery and misuse of office following nearly a decade of scandal and criminal accusations that have dogged the state’s top lawyer. He is suspended from office pending trial in the state Senate, which set a start date of no later than Aug. 28.
Underlining how Paxton’s impeachment has upended the Texas Capitol, the session ended with a dozen House lawmakers walking across the building and delivering the articles of impeachment to the Senate, where there are 31 senators who could act as jurors.
In a complicating twist, one of them is Sen. Paxton, who has not spoken publicly since her husband’s impeachment or said whether she will recuse herself from the proceedings.
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