Timeline of events leading to the impeachment of Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A timeline of events leading up to the three-term impeachment Saturday of Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton, 60. The vote in the GOP-controlled Texas House of Representatives also means Paxton is immediately suspended from office.


Paxton takes up the post of attorney general after more than a decade in the Texas Legislature. He is indicted on a felony by a grand jury in his hometown near Dallas, accused of duping investors in a tech startup. He pleads not guilty to two counts, but there has still been no trial. Paxton opens a legal defense fund and accepts $100,000 from an executive whose company was being investigated by his office for Medicaid fraud. An Arizona retiree donates $50,000 to the fund, and Paxton later hires the donor’s son for a high-ranking job that ends in his firing after the man shows child pornography during a ‘a meeting.


Several of Paxton’s top aides are raising concerns with the FBI that the attorney general was abusing the powers of his office to help wealthy Austin donor and real estate developer Nate Paul with a struggling real estate empire. The FBI opens an investigation and raids Paul’s home, but he has not been charged. Paxton and his attorneys have denied any wrongdoing. Paxton, who is married to a state senator and has gained national profile as a crusader for conservative Christian legal causes, tells staffers he had an affair with a woman who, it appeared more late, worked for Paul. In a deposition, Paul says he hired the woman on Paxton’s recommendation. The eight aides who reported Paxton to the FBI were fired or resigned, and four later filed suit under Texas whistleblower law.


Paxton agrees to settle the whistleblower’s lawsuit for $3.3 million of taxpayers’ money, which requires legislative approval. Justice Department officials in Washington are taking over the corruption probe, taking the case away from federal prosecutors in Texas.

MAY 23, 2023

Members of a Republican-led House Committee on General Investigations reveal that an investigation into Paxton’s corruption has been quietly going on for months.

MAY 24, 2023

The committee’s investigation accuses Paxton of committing several crimes in office, including felonies. The charges cover a myriad of charges related to her relationship with Paul, including alleged attempts to interfere with foreclosure lawsuits and the improper issuance of legal opinions for Paul’s benefit, and the termination, harassment and interference with staff who reported what was happening. The bribery charges stem from Paul allegedly employing the woman Paxton had an affair with in exchange for legal help, and Paul allegedly paying for expensive renovations to Paxton’s home. Paxton broadly denies any wrongdoing. The committee ended Wednesday’s hearing without acting on the findings and without saying whether a recommendation to impeach or censure Paxton was possible.

MAY 25, 2023

The committee recommends in a unanimous vote that the state’s top attorney be removed on 20 items, including bribery, unfit for office, and breach of public trust.

MAY 26, 2023

The House committee said it was Paxton’s own request for state funds to settle the whistleblower’s lawsuit that prompted the impeachment recommendation. The $3.3 million payout must be approved by the House, and Republican Speaker Dade Phelan said he doesn’t think taxpayers should foot the bill. Paxton calls on his supporters to protest when the full House of Representatives initiates impeachment proceedings against him. He denounced the impeachment proceedings as “political theatre” that will “inflict lasting damage on the Texas House”, adding to his earlier claims that it was an effort to disenfranchise the voters who returned him to the power in November.

MAY 27, 2023

The 149-member Texas House of Representatives votes to impeach Paxton. In Texas, an impeached official is automatically suspended from duty pending a trial in the Senate.

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