Texas Attorney General Kenneth Paxton Acquitted in Senate Impeachment Trial, Reinstated as AG
( Breitbart )
The Texas Senate voted that Texas Attorney General Kenneth Warren Paxton, Jr. should be acquitted. The majority vote on each article in his impeachment trial was for acquittal. The senators voted to dismiss the four remaining impeachment articles and adjourn for the session, Sine Die.
Jurors had to decide not only whether the suspended attorney general committed every element in each article of impeachment but also that Paxton must be removed from office.
Following the senators’ acquittal votes, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, president of the Senate and presiding officer of the court, signed the order of acquittal and reinstated Paxton as the Attorney General of the State of Texas.
As presiding “judge” Lieutenant Dan Patrick instructed, “An impeachment article is not divisible.” Breitbart Texas reported that Patrick stated, “This means the senators must consider each allegation in each article and determine whether the managers have proved each allegation in an article beyond a reasonable doubt before they can consider whether an article warrants removal from office. Then and only then may an article be sustained.”
The Senate President explained that if an article has three allegations and only two can be proved by the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt, a senator was not to vote to sustain an article.
Senators cast their votes on a written form, and the court bailiff collected the votes. The voting order was determined by drawing the senators’ names from a hat.
A majority vote against an article of impeachment resulted in “A finding of acquittal” for that article.
The Senate jury voted on the 16 articles of impeachment as follows:
Article I: Disregard of Official Duty – Protection of Charitable Organization. Acquittal. VOTE 14 Yeas; 16 Nays.
Article II: Disregard of Official Duty – Abuse of the Opinion Process. Acquittal. VOTE 14-16.
Article III: Disregard of Official Duty – Abuse of the Open Records Process. Acquittal. VOTE 14-16.
Article IV: Disregard of Official Duty – Misuse of Official Information. Acquittal. VOTE 2-28.
Article V: Disregard of Official Duty – Engagement of Cammack. Acquittal. VOTE 13-17.
Article VI: Disregard of Official Duty – Termination of Whistleblowers. Acquittal. VOTE 14-16.
Article VII: Misapplication of Public Resources – Whistleblower Investigation and Report. Acquittal. VOTE 14-16.
Article VIII: Disregard of Official Duty – Settlement Agreement. Acquittal. VOTE 8-22.
Article IX: Constitutional Bribery – Paul’s Employment of Mistress. VOTE 12-18.
Article X: Constitutional Bribery – Paul’s Providing Renovations to Paxton Home. Acquittal. VOTE 14-16.
Article XV: False Statement in Official Records – Whistleblower Response Report. Acquittal. VOTE 14-16.
Article XVI: Conspiracy and Attempted Conspiracy. Acquittal. VOTE 14-16.
Article XVII: Misappropriation of Public Resources. Acquittal. VOTE 14-16.
Article XVIII: Dereliction of Duty. Acquittal. VOTE 14-16.
Article XIX: Unfitness for Office. Acquittal. VOTE 14-16.
Article XX: Abuse of Public Trust. Acquittal. VOTE 14-16.
Four articles dealing with personal financial statements and Paxton’s securities fraud allegations were held in abeyance (XI, XII, XIII, and XIV). Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Grandbury) moved to dismiss the remaining articles and moved for Sine die. A motion to dismiss is not a finding of acquittal. A vote to grant the motion to dismiss required only 15 senators to vote “Yay.”
Nineteen senators voted to grant the motion to dismiss. The vote was 19-11.
The Senate is now in adjournment.