AUSTIN, Texas — The historic impeachment trial of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is officially over.
Paxton has been reinstated as the state's highest elected attorney. But some lawmakers have questions about how this process unfolded.
"Warren Kenneth Paxton Jr. is hereby, at this moment, reinstated, to office," Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said.
A majority of senators cast their votes to acquit Paxton on all of the articles of impeachment against him, marking the end of an unprecedented political trial in Texas.
"It was a collaborative effort from all members. All of us studied past impeachments from all across the country," Patrick said.
Patrick, the presiding officer in the trial, did not discuss his own beliefs during the proceedings, but once the verdict came in, he made it clear he felt this case was mishandled by the House of Representatives from the start.
"We should amend the Constitution on the issue of impeachment as currently written that allowed this flawed process to happen. Any testimony given in a House impeachment investigation must be given under oath," Patrick said.
Former State Rep. and UT Austin political expert Sherri Greenberg said for the House, this was not a partisan issue.
"It was overwhelming. I think there were only 20, I think, state reps who voted, who didn't vote to impeach," Greenberg said.
She noted that a trial like this shows the dissension between the House and Senate – and also within the Republican party.
"I did always think that it would be difficult to get to nine Republican members of the Senate," Greenberg said.
Concerns have been raised whether taxpayers paid for this trial. Paxton's attorneys say they were paid by Paxton himself, but for the House Board of Managers team, it's a different story.
"Seventeen lawyers over there, $500 an hour for each of them – hundreds of thousands of dollars wasted, taxpayer money wasted," said Tony Buzbee, Paxton's attorney.
On Monday, Patrick sent an official request for an audit.
"A full audit of all taxpayer money spent by the House from the beginning of their investigation in March to their final bills they get from their lawyers. We will provide our costs as well that were forced on us by the House impeachment," Patrick said.
As this historic trial comes to an end, it's unclear what this means for other legal action against the attorney general. Paxton still faces a federal investigation over the claims that led to his impeachment and separate securities fraud charges.