(Fixes incorrect vote count)
By Rich McKay
(Reuters) – The Texas Senate was due to begin deliberations on Sunday to permanently remove Attorney General Ken Paxton, a conservative firebrand and ally of former President Donald Trump, who was impeached by the House over the weekend over to accusations of abuse by other Republicans. Office.
After hours of debate on Saturday, the House voted 121 to 23 to impeach Paxton, who immediately suspended him from office pending a final decision from the Texas Senate, where his wife, Angela Paxton, is a senator. . Both the House and the Senate have Republican majorities.
The proceedings are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. local time on Sunday, and Paxton had previously called for protests at the state Capitol in Austin.
Paxton denied the charges and denounced the proceedings as “illegal, unethical and deeply unjust” in a statement on Twitter after Saturday’s vote.
“The horrifying spectacle at Texas House today confirmed that the outrageous impeachment plot against me was never meant to be right or just,” he said, calling it a political sham.
“I look forward to a speedy resolution in the Texas Senate, where I have full confidence that the process will be fair and just,” he said.
Trump, on his Truth Social social media platform, defended Paxton and wrote, “Free Ken Paxton.”
The 20 articles of impeachment introduced by a Republican-led House committee accuse Paxton of improperly aiding a wealthy political donor, conducting a bogus investigation of whistleblowers in his office he fired and covering up his wrongdoing in a separate federal securities fraud case against him. , among other offences.
Paxton, who previously served in the House and Senate, has taken a far-right stance on divisive cultural issues. He has sued the Biden administration nearly 50 times in an attempt to end what he called “unlawful tyrannical policies” on issues including immigration, gun rights and business regulation.
Paxton has repeatedly taken on Alphabet’s Google, leading to an $8 million settlement in mid-May to settle allegations of misleading advertising to promote the Pixel 4 smartphone. company in 2020, accusing it of violating antitrust laws to boost its already dominant advertising business. This trial is ongoing.
(This story has been corrected to fix the vote count to say 121-23 instead of 121-33 in paragraph 2)
(Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Additional reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Heather Timmons and Andrea Ricci)