AG Ken Paxton expected back in office on Monday following impeachment trial, but what happens next?

Shannon Ryan Image
Monday, September 18, 2023
Paxton to return to office Monday, but legal troubles still loom
Attorney General Ken Paxton is set to return to office Monday following being acquitted on several charges during a historic impeachment trial.

AUSTIN, Texas (KTRK) -- Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton will return to office Monday after the state senate chose not to impeach him - clearing him of corruption charges on Saturday.

However, his legal troubles are far from over. Most impeachment charges hinged on the accusation that Paxton used his powers to help real estate developer Nate Paul.

Paul was indicted on federal charges this June, accused of making false statements to banks.

READ HERE: Republican Texas AG Ken Paxton is acquitted of 16 corruption charges at impeachment trial

Several whistleblowers from Paxton's office who testified at the impeachment trial had gone to the FBI with their concerns about Paxton and Paul.

The bureau is still investigating.

The Texas Bar Association is also investigating Paxton's failed efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Additionally, Paxton has been fighting securities fraud charges for the past eight years. He was indicted after first taking office in 2015.

The case has had many delays - partly because it has bounced between Harris and Collin counties. Paxton represented Collin County as a state lawmaker.

"They should dismiss the state case, and if they don't, we'll go try it," Paxton's attorney Dan Cogdell said. "We'll beat them here, and we'll beat them there."

RELATED: Are voters paying attention to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's legal troubles?

In May, Paxton was suspended from his job as the state's top attorney without pay. He will not receive back pay for that time.

In a scathing speech chastising those who called for impeachment, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said the pay policy should change.

Patrick also criticized the House for adopting articles of impeachment.

Rice University political scientist Dr. Mark Jones expects pro-Paxton PACs to attack House GOP members who voted in favor of impeachment. He predicts about half a dozen will lose their seats.

"They went after the king, and they failed," he said.

GOP strategist Court Koenning anticipates the trial will serve as fodder.


ABC13's political program This Week in Texas explores the most significant moments from week one of Ken Paxton's impeachment trial in Austin.

"This was a political trial and a political trial then goes into a political campaign and we're gonna see mail pieces and television commercials and radio ads," he said.

While Jones expects moderate Republicans to be the biggest losers, he points out that even some to the far right face criticism.

"Briscoe Cain, from here in the Houston area, is one of the most conservative Republicans, yet he's being portrayed as a RINO, Republican in Name Only, which is pretty laughable," he said.

Another prominent Republican Jones expects to suffer is House Speaker Dade Phelan, who spearheaded the impeachment.

"He now has egg on his face and is responsible for jeopardizing the political careers of probably 50-55 Republicans who voted for the articles of impeachment and are up for re-election," Jones said.

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