Wife of Texas AG Ken Paxton to participate in impeachment proceedings in capacity as state senator
(CNN) — The wife of embattled Attorney General Ken Paxton said Monday she will “carry out (her) duties” as a state senator and not recuse herself ahead of her husband’s upcoming impeachment trial.
Angela Paxton, who represents a Dallas-area district, said Texas law compels each member of the Senate to attend the impeachment proceedings on Tuesday when the chamber meets to set the rules for Paxton’s impeachment trial.
The Texas House of Representatives voted to impeach the attorney general in an unprecedented move last month following a legislative probe that faulted the third-term Republican for a yearslong pattern of corruption, including abusing his office’s powers, retaliating against whistleblowers and obstructing justice.
“As a member of the Senate, I hold these obligations sacred and I will carry out my duties, not because it is easy, but because the Constitution demands it and because my constituents deserve it,” Paxton said in a statement, indicating that she will not recuse herself from her role representing a Dallas-area district as the legislative body convenes her husband’s trial.
In 2020, multiple top aides publicly accused Paxton of bribery and abusing his office. The aides, who also reported their allegations to the FBI, were all fired, put on leave or resigned.
The whistleblowers had accused him of using his authority to benefit political friend Nate Paul, a real estate investor who had donated tens of thousands of dollars to Paxton’s campaign. The impeachment vote had its origins in an investigation launched in March by the General Investigating Committee of the Texas House after Paxton had asked the legislature to approve $3.3 million in government funds to settle a lawsuit with four whistleblowers who were fired from his office.
One of the impeachment articles accuses Paxton of using employees of the attorney general’s office to write a legal opinion intended to help Paul avoid the foreclosure sale of properties owned by Paul and his businesses.
It was among a series of articles focused on Paxton’s relationship with Paul, including accusations he hired an outside attorney who issued more than 30 grand jury subpoenas while investigating a “baseless complaint” made by Paul, benefited from Paul hiring a woman with whom Paxton “was having an extramarital affair,” and provided Paul with favorable legal help in exchange for renovations on Paxton’s home.
The articles of impeachment also detail what are described as Paxton’s efforts to cause “protracted” delays in the securities fraud investigation. And the articles say voters in November, who voted for Paxton’s third term did not have a full understanding of Paxton’s legal troubles because he had intentionally obscured the details of the charges he faces.
CNN previously reported that he is also facing an FBI investigation for abuse of office and that Justice Department prosecutors in Washington, DC, took over a corruption investigation into Paxton. He is also under indictment for securities fraud in a separate, unrelated case. Paxton has denied all charges and allegations.
His impeachment trial must take place no later than August 28.