The Texas House of Representatives later voted to impeach Paxton, resulting in his suspension from office.
Trump lashed out in particular at Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan, whom Trump called «hardly a Republican at all.» Trump also called the process «election interference» and said, «Free Ken Paxton, wait until the next election!»
In 2020, Paxton asked the United States Supreme Court to overturn President Joe Biden’s election defeat of Trump.
Scandals have followed Paxton throughout his career, with the latest allegations of bribery and breach of public trust resulting in the Republican-led House of Representatives meeting on Saturday to begin impeachment proceedings. .
As the third official in Texas history to face such a fate, Paxton will be removed from his position pending a Senate trial. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott will name an interim replacement. Final removal would require a two-thirds vote in the Senate, where Paxton’s wife, Angela, is a member.
US Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also expressed his support for Paxton, calling the impeachment process a «travesty» in a series of tweets Saturday.
“No attorney general has combated the abuses of the Biden administration more ferociously and effectively than Paxton,” Cruz wrote. “That’s why the swamp in Austin wants him out. The special interests do not want a strong conservative AG. I understand that people are concerned about Ken’s legal challenges. But the courts should resolve them.»
in a statement issued ThursdayPaxton called the allegations «hearsay and gossip,» before stating that the impeachment proceedings were «an attempt to overthrow the will of the people and deprive the voters of our state.»
On Friday, he called on his supporters to «come peacefully to let your voices be heard at the Capitol tomorrow.»
During the course of proceedings Saturday, Republican state Rep. Charlie Geren took the floor to allege that several members of the House body had received direct phone calls from Paxton that threatened his political career.
“I would like to point out that several members of this House, while on the floor of this House, doing state business, received phone calls from [Attorney] General Paxton personally, threatening them with political consequences in their next election,” Geren said.