AUSTIN – A rare public display of the deep political divide between Texas Republicans and reflective of the GOP rank and file nationwide takes center stage at 1 p.m. Saturday in Austin as the Texas House of Representatives takes up 20 articles of impeachment against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
Make no mistake, this showdown in the House Chamber is about one thing; power, and which side will control Texas Politics heading into the 2024 general election. This impeachment is about President Donald Trump.
This impeachment proceeding pits far right supporters of President Donald Trump, who fully endorsed Paxton in the 2020 election, and 'establishment' Republicans, who held power in the GOP before Trump and are ready to move on without him.
The outcome of Paxton's impeachment will illustrate how much power, influence and control Trump Republicans have in Texas and beyond.
Paxton could be removed from office Saturday with the likes of 'establishment' candidates such as former Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, from the generational powerhouse Bush family which has seen two U.S. Presidents, waiting in the wings to be appointed to replace Paxton.
The Texas Tribune puts it this way: The Texas House intends to take up a resolution to impeach Attorney General Ken Paxton at 1 p.m. Saturday, according to a memo from the House General Investigating Committee.
Citing Paxton’s “long-standing pattern of abuse of office and public trust,” the memo said it was imperative for the House to proceed with impeachment to prevent Paxton from using his office’s “significant powers” to further obstruct and delay justice. The committee proposed allocating four hours of debate, evenly divided between supporters and opponents of impeachment, with 40 minutes for opening arguments by committee members and 20 minutes for closing statements. A simple majority is needed to send the matter to a trial before the Senate. If the House votes to impeach Paxton, the memo said, the House would conduct the trial in the Senate through a group of House members called “managers.”
The committee stressed that Paxton’s request earlier this year for the Legislature to pay $3.3 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit led to its investigation and ultimately the articles of impeachment. The memo also said impeachment is not a criminal process and its primary purpose is to “protect the state, not to punish the offender.”
While former President Donald Trump — a Paxton ally who endorsed his campaign before last year’s GOP primary — has not commented, his son Donald Trump Jr. said Friday that the investigation into “America First patriot Ken Paxton” is a “disgrace.”
“MAGA stands with Ken Paxton against this RINO/DEMO led witch hunt!!!” Trump Jr. tweeted.
Other prominent right-wing figures have come to Paxton’s defense. Citing Paxton’s frequent lawsuits against the Biden administration, former Trump adviser Stephen Miller called on conservatives to “stand with Ken.” And Kyle Rittenhouse, who was acquitted of homicide after fatally shooting two Black Lives Matter protesters in Wisconsin, accused Phelan of working with “anti-gun Democrats” and “attacking our pro-gun attorney general.”
This is a developing Story.