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LIVE: Impeachment proceedings against AG Ken Paxton underway in Texas House

The GOP-held House needs a simple majority to send it to the Senate for a trial.
Credit: KVUE

AUSTIN, Texas — A day after a Republican-led investigative committee unanimously decided to recommend impeaching Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the Texas House will vote on Saturday.

The impeachment proceedings began at 1 p.m. They are being livestreamed on KVUE.com, the KVUE app, KVUE YouTube page and KVUE+ on Roku and FireTV.

Texans lined up outside the House chamber ahead of the proceedings on Saturday for a chance to witness the historic hearings against Paxton.

As the proceedings began, Rep. Charlie Green, a member of the House General Investigative Committee, said Paxton made politically threatening calls to lawmakers who would support impeachment going forward.

In an opening statement, Rep. David Spiller praised Paxton, calling him a "brilliant" legal mind, but nevertheless urged lawmakers to vote to impeach the attorney general because "no one one person should be above the law."

Rep. John Smithee of Amarillo also spoke in opposition of impeachment, urging fellow representatives to vote against the charges citing a lack of proper evidence.

The Texas GOP responded to the recommendations and provided a statement on its Twitter account.

In part, it said "this sham impeachment is the result of the Phelan leadership team empowering Democrats, allowing them to hold leadership positions and letting them control the agenda." 

You can read the full statement from the Texas GOP below.

Paxton has been under FBI investigation for years over accusations that he used his office to help a donor and was separately indicted on securities fraud charges in 2015, though he has yet to stand trial. Until this week his fellow Republicans have taken a muted stance on the allegations.

The hearing sets up what could be a remarkably sudden downfall for one of the GOP’s most prominent legal combatants, who in 2020 asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Joe Biden's electoral defeat of President Donald Trump. Only two officials in Texas’ nearly 200-year history have been impeached.

Paxton, 60, has called the impeachment proceedings “political theater” based on “hearsay and gossip, parroting long-disproven claims,” and an attempt to disenfranchise voters who re-elected him in November. On Friday he asked supporters "to peacefully come let their voices be heard at the Capitol tomorrow.”

If impeached, Paxton would be removed from office pending a Senate trial, and it would fall to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott to appoint an interim replacement. Final removal would require a two-thirds vote in the Senate, where Paxton’s wife’s, Angela, is a member.

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