Paxton impeachment trial begins in the Texas Senate

The impeachment trial of suspended Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton began Tuesday, with charges of bribery and abuse of power. If Paxton is found guilty, he would be the first official removed from an elected office by lawmakers in over a century.

The big picture: Paxton was suspended without pay since May after the Texas House voted overwhelmingly to impeach him following multiple allegations of misconduct.
* If found guilty by the state’s upper chamber, Paxton would be removed from office — a first since 1917.
* A two-thirds majority, 21 out of 31 members, in the Texas state senate is needed to remove Paxton from office.

Procedural motions: Paxton’s legal team, led by Tony Buzbee, attempted to have the charges dismissed outright, which was not granted.
* Twenty-four members of the Senate, including the majority of Republicans, voted against dismissing the charges outright, while six senators voted to dismiss them.
* State Sen. Angela Paxton, Ken Paxton’s wife, is present at the proceedings but is not permitted to vote.

Opening statements: State Rep. Andrew Murr argued that the evidence against Paxton was clear.
* Murr alleges that Paxton abused his office to aid friend and donor Nate Paul, an Austin real estate investor.
* Paxton’s defense attorney, Tony Buzbee, accused the media and House Republicans of unfairly convicting his client in the court of public opinion.

First witness: Prosecution’s first witness was Jeff Mateer, a former deputy attorney general who reported Paxton’s alleged misconducts.
* The trial is expected to last a couple of weeks, with many witnesses lined up to testify for both sides.
* Mateer attempted to illustrate his conservative credentials as an attempt to dispell any potential perceptions of him being a Republican In Name Only (RINO).

View original article on NPR

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