Suspended Texas Attorney General Paxton won’t testify at impeachment trial

WASHINGTON, July 4 (Reuters) – Suspended Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton will not testify in his upcoming impeachment trial in the state Senate, his lawyer said late on Monday, indicating Paxton would fight efforts that may aim to compel a testimony from him.

State legislators impeached Paxton on May 27 on charges including bribery and temporarily suspended him from office pending his trial in the Texas Senate. Paxton is a supporter of former U.S. President Donald Trump whose lawsuit challenging the 2020 election results was tossed out by the Supreme Court.

The Texas Senate will try Paxton on 20 articles of impeachment lodged against him. If two-thirds of the 31 senators find him guilty, he will be removed from office. If not, he will be reinstated. Paxton’s impeachment trial will begin on Sept. 5, according to CBS Texas.

Paxton’s impeachment by the Texas House of Representatives on allegations of corruption and other irregularities was triggered by his office’s request that the House fund a $3.3 million lawsuit settlement he reached with four whistleblowers from his office.

Paxton has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. Aside from his impeachment, he is under a separate corruption investigation by the Justice Department, according to the special prosecutors in Texas leading his state case.

“The House has ignored precedent, denied him an opportunity to present his defense and now wants to ambush him on the floor of the Senate,” Paxton’s attorney, Tony Buzbee, said in a statement late on Monday.

“We will not bow to their evil, illegal, and unprecedented weaponization of state power in the Senate chamber,” the attorney added.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Josie Kao

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Kanishka Singh

Thomson Reuters

Kanishka Singh is a breaking news reporter for Reuters in Washington DC, who primarily covers US politics and national affairs in his current role. His past breaking news coverage has spanned across a range of topics like the Black Lives Matter movement; the US elections; the 2021 Capitol riots and their follow up probes; the Brexit deal; US-China trade tensions; the NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan; the COVID-19 pandemic; and a 2019 Supreme Court verdict on a religious dispute site in his native India.

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