Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was acquitted on Saturday of corruption charges, following an articles of impeachment trial which included misconduct, bribery, and corruption allegations.
In May, his fellow party members voted to impeach him, concluding he may have committed numerous crimes and that he abused his position to help his friend and donor Nate Paul, an Austin real estate developer.
Following the 121-23 House vote in May, he was immediately suspended him from office as he awaited trial in the state Senate, where his wife, Angela Paxton, is a member. The trial began on Sept. 5. On Saturday, he was acquitted by Senate Republicans (his wife attended the trial, but was not allowed to vote), as The Associated Press reports. All but two Senate Republicans voted to acquit Ken Paxton in each of the 16 impeachment articles (he was charged with 20, but the Senate voted separately to dismiss four impeachment articles, which were not addressed at trial).
Paxton was not in attendance for the proceedings on Saturday, though he released a statement following 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.”
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott welcomed Paxton back to his position on Saturday. “The jury has spoken. Attorney General Ken Paxton received a fair trial as required by the Texas Constitution,” Abbott posted on X, formerly Twitter. “I look forward to continuing to work with the Attorney General to secure the border and protect Texas from federal overreach.”
The acquittal may have reinstated Paxton into office, but his legal troubles are far from over. He’s under criminal indictment on 2015 securities fraud charges prior to his taking office, after he allegedly defrauded investors in a tech startup (he pleaded not guilty to two felony counts) — though he has yet to stand trial.
He has also been under FBI investigation for allegedly using his office to help a donor, allegedly opening a legal defense fund and accepting $100,000 from an executive who was under investigation by Paxton’s office for Medicaid fraud. Additionally, he’s under FBI investigation and faces losing his ability to practice law in the state due to his alleged role in baselessly attempting to overturn the 2020 election.