Around the State

Texas Senate voted not guilty on all 16 articles of impeachment of indicted Attorney General Warren Kenneth Paxton Jr. The charges included impeachment concerning bribery, dereliction of duty, disregard of official duty and obstruction of justice.

Paxton impeachment trial: Texas Organizing Project condemns cowardly acquittal
Texas Organizing Project

The sham acquittal of Ken Paxton is an affront to the rule of law and a betrayal of every democratic principle we hold dear. Paxton has proven himself unfit for office, throughout his tenure he used his role to service wealthy donors and a far-right extremist agenda. A Trump and MAGA acolyte, who participated at the Jan. 6 rally ahead of the insurrection at the Capitol and wasted at least $45,000 of taxpayer dollars trying to overturn the 2020 election, Paxton is still also under indictment for securities fraud which has been an ongoing investigation since 2015.

“From Trump to Clarence Thomas, and now Paxton, we are witnessing a grand display of the normalization of corruption and far-right extremism. This must stop,” said Brianna Brown and Michelle Tremillo, co-executive directors for Texas Organizing Project, on Paxton not being convicted on any of the 16 articles of impeachment.

“Paxton isn’t just a singular corrupt individual; he’s part of a larger corrupt ecosystem that has compromised health care for millions, endangered the basic rights of millions, and eroded the very foundations of democracy. We’re sick of Texas being the GOP’s lab for anti-democratic policies while their party leaders erase decades of progress.”

With this trial outcome, TOP calls on the Texas State Bar to withdraw Paxton’s license to practice law. While the Attorney General of Texas does not need to be a licensed attorney, the revocation of his license would force Paxton to delegate critical responsibilities, further highlighting his unfitness for office.

Additionally, because of this acquittal verdict, we’re forced to place our hope in federal institutions to do what our state elected officials lacked the courage to do in rooting out political corruption. The FBI’s ongoing investigation into Paxton is a small beacon of hope that justice may yet prevail.

This acquittal is also a wake-up call. TOP will continue to do what we do best: organize and mobilize Black and Latino communities across Texas. Come November 2026, we’ll defeat Paxton at the ballot box, if he isn’t already found guilty in his securities fraud trial, of course. We demand better, and we will continue the fight to elect officials who represent the democratic principles and human decency that Texas and the U.S. deserve.

The bar has been lowered: Articles of impeachment of Warren Kenneth Paxton Jr.
State Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas

“This verdict unfortunately sanctioned a new standard of conduct for elected officials in Texas. These decisions will impact the standards by which elected officials may conduct themselves for the next 100 years.

There will be those who say that the House Managers did not meet their burden of proof, and that may be true on some articles. However, in my opinion, on Article IX involving bribery, the House proved beyond all doubt that Nate Paul employed Ken Paxton’s mistress, paid for a secret Uber account for Paxton’s personal use, and allowed the Attorney General of Texas to participate in an illicit affair; this, while he had almost unfettered access to the attorney general.

In fact, the evidence was so strong that it showed the Uber account was connected to one of Paul’s credit cards and was used by Paxton to visit the residences of his mistress Laura Olsen and Nate Paul. This arrangement and payment benefiting Paxton may never have been reported to the proper state authority, the Texas Ethics Commission.

The majority has set a poor example for future generations of elected officials by exonerating Paxton on this count. Yet and still, Paxton was exonerated by a majority of the Senate, thus condoning this despicable and unbecoming behavior. As a legislative body, we missed an opportunity to reaffirm our expectations of fitness for office. The bar has been lowered.”

The acquittal of indicted Attorney General Ken Paxton
Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa

“It’s clear that the fix was in from the beginning, and that as long as Republicans control our government, Republican elected officials won’t face consequences for ethical or criminal offenses. In true Texas Republican fashion, Ken Paxton’s crime organization beneficiary Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and his Republican minions placed the reputation of their friend and the will of his campaign donors above the rule of law. After eight days of damning testimony detailing corruption, lies and abuse of power, and thousands of pages of grueling evidence – the Texas Senate voted to acquit Paxton of his crimes and allowed him to retain his office.

Today, one fact was made abundantly clear to the majority of Texans: there is no justice as long as Republicans remain in control of our state. Paxton did nothing short of weaponizing the attorney general’s office to benefit his wealthy friend that bankrolled his campaign and subsidized his extramarital affair. And now, our criminally indicted Texas attorney general will continue his reign as Texas’ top criminal without facing any accountability whatsoever.

This is an enormously sad day in Texas history. From the start of this trial, Paxton (also known affectionately as ‘Dave P’) and his defense hid from the truth – and Patrick protected him every step of the way. Leaving out key witnesses such as Laura Olson, and shielding Paxton himself from testifying, denied the public access to the truth of the extent of Paxton’s crimes. In what American judicial proceeding would a judge be allowed to preside over a court while a $2 million campaign loan from the defendant hung over his head? Republicans don’t respect the rule of law – their morals are based on self-enrichment and codifying the suffering of working people.

Above all else, Texans deserve better. Paxton is not an honest or honorable man. He has brought great shame to the attorney general’s office and the state of Texas. But make no mistake – as Paxton takes his “victory” lap to Maine with Tucker Carlson – the Texas Democratic Party is focused on recruiting, resourcing and training for candidates and local leaders so that the likes of Ken Paxton are never elected to represent a single Texan again. The campaign to bring justice to the attorney general’s office and hold the leaders of the Paxton crime organization accountable, begins today.

Senate’s failure to convict Texas AG Ken Paxton
Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio

Impeachments are both rare and very serious – as they should be. The House of Representatives had a duty, required under the Constitution, to make a determination if there was sufficient evidence to support impeachment and trial by the Senate. The evidence was clear and damning: Ken Paxton put himself before the people of Texas.

The essence of our democratic system lies in the belief that elected officials exist solely to serve the interests of the people. When that trust is violated, the very foundation of our government is undermined. It is our duty as representatives of the people to restore and protect that trust, for without it, our government cannot fulfill its vital role. The people of Texas deserve nothing less.

The Texas Senate’s inability to see through the fog of politics does not change the facts that are now etched in the granite of the Texas Capitol. The Office of Attorney General is not serving the 30 million people of Texas, it is serving one man: Ken Paxton. And it now rests on the people of Texas to serve as the ultimate and final jury – they will have their say on those who place cheap politics over honesty, dignity and integrity.

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