Impeached by Texas AG, Ken Paxton is seeking to have most charges dropped before his September trial

Impeached by Texas AG, Ken Paxton is seeking to have most charges dropped before his September trial

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Attorneys for the impeached Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton On Monday, he sought to have most of the charges against him dropped, arguing that they relied on alleged acts of corruption ahead of his re-election to a third term in 2022.

In motions to the Senate, where Paxton impeachment trial Set to begin Sept. 5, his attorneys said they believe state law prohibits firing an official for conduct that occurred before their last election. Paxton was first elected to the position of attorney general in 2014, and impeachment charges include alleged conduct since then.

“The articles do not claim that Texas voters have not heard from political opponents of the attorney general in years,” Paxton’s attorneys wrote. They accused the Republican-dominated Texas House of Representatives of seeking to oust Paxton because they could not impeach him by the popular vote. .

Texas voters passed their verdict re-electing Attorney General Paxton to a third consecutive term. As a matter of common sense and Texas law, his attorneys wrote, this should be the end of the matter.

Paxton’s attorney said that only one of the 20 impeachment charges — the allegation that Paxton was nothing but a whistleblower lawsuit in an effort to hide from allegations of public corruption against him — would not be dismissed under the so-called “prior term doctrine.” Paxton asked state lawmakers this year that the state pay the proposed $3.3 million settlement.

In a second filing, Paxton’s attorneys said the trial must rule out any evidence of alleged behavior that occurred prior to January 2023, when his third term in office began.

Motions by Paxton’s attorneys are similar to moves in criminal or civil legal cases when defense attorneys seek to have charges or lawsuits dismissed before trial.

In this case, the officer presiding over Paxton’s impeachment trial would be Lt. Dan Patrick, a staunch Republican who also serves as speaker of the state senate. The Republican-controlled Senate will consider the evidence and decide whether to convict or acquit Paxton in the first statewide impeachment trial since 1917.

Patrick has already issued a gag order On the parties and lawyers involved before the Senate trial. Attorneys for the House principals trying Paxton did not immediately respond to motions filed Monday.

Paxton has been suspended from his position since The House of Representatives first approved the articles of impeachment on May 27. He can be permanently removed if convicted by the Senate.

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