Suspended Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton acquitted

Texas state Attorney General Ken Paxton, center, makes a statement at his office in Austin, Texas, Friday, May 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was acquitted on Saturday of all corruption charges in his impeachment trial.

A jury of 30 senators spent about eight hours deliberating behind closed doors before emerging for the historic vote after a two-week trial on 16 impeachment articles accusing Paxton of misconduct, bribery and corruption, The Associated Press reported.

The Senate is led by Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who served as Texas chairman of former President Donald Trump’s previous presidential campaigns and who served as the presiding judge for the trial, the wire service said.

Paxton quickly issued a statement after the verdict.

“Today, the truth prevailed. The truth could not be buried by mudslinging politicians or their powerful benefactors,” Paxton said. “I’ve said many times: Seek the truth! And that is what was accomplished.”

Paxton had been facing impeachment by the Texas House of Representatives after years of alleged wrongdoing, including taking bribes, obstructing justice in a criminal case pending against him, issuing improper grand jury subpoenas, and violating state whistleblower laws by firing employees who reported his misconduct.

According to the impeachment articles, Paxton also allegedly directed senior staffers to do $72,000 worth of taxpayer-funded work for donor and real-estate investor Nate Paul, then improperly provided Paul with an FBI file related to an investigation of him.

In August 2021, Paxton cleared himself of bribery allegations in an unsigned report from his office, saying: “Based upon the evidence collected and review of all relevant factors, it is the finding of this report that former political appointees of General Paxton had no basis for their criminal complaint.”

Saturday’s verdict is not the end of Paxton’s legal troubles. He is under separate indictment for securities fraud and has been since 2015.

Elura Nanos and Marisa Sarnoff contributed to this report.

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Suspended Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton acquitted

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