OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
To many conservatives, Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton is a hero for successfully taking on the Biden administration and winning a great many lawsuits curbing the White House’s far-left agenda. But Paxton appears to have fallen out of favor with members of his own party who control the state legislature.
On Saturday, the GOP-led Texas House impeached Paxton, as “Republican Speaker Dade Phelan and fellow Republicans joined with Democrats to temporarily remove” the AG “from office on accusations of bribery, obstruction of justice, and abuse of public trust,” The Epoch Times reported.
The lawmakers voted 121-23 in favor of the 20 articles of impeachment, but Paxton does have some rather powerful allies, including former President Donald Trump, himself impeached twice while in office though both were considered politically motivated by tens of millions of Americans.
“Free Ken Paxton, let them wait for the next elections,” Trump wrote after the impeachment vote was taken.
Trump also lashed out at GOP Gov. Greg Abbott, whom he considered an ally, for remaining silent about the events taking place with Paxton.
“MISSING IN ACTION!” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform. “Where is the Governor of Texas on his Attorney General’s Impeachment?”
Earlier, before the impeachment vote, Trump wrote, “The RINO Speaker of the House of Texas, Dade Phelan, who is barely a Republican at all and failed the test on voter integrity, wants to impeach one of the most hard-working and effective Attorney Generals in the United States, Ken Paxton, who just won reelection with a large number of American Patriots strongly voting for him.”
He added: “Hopefully Republicans in the Texas House will agree that this is a very unfair process that should not be allowed to happen or proceed—I will fight you if it does.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also ripped the impeachment vote against Paxton.
“What is happening to @KenPaxtonTX is a travesty,” Cruz tweeted before the proceedings, blaming the Austin “swamp” for attempting to sideline one of the Biden administration’s staunchest — and most successful — opponents.
“No attorney general has battled the abuses of the Biden admin more ferociously—and more effectively—than has Paxton,” Cruz said in a Twitter post.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene joined in the fray as well in defense of Paxton: “Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has led the fight against the corrupt Biden Administration, defended Texas election integrity, protected the lives of the unborn, and tirelessly fights to secure the southern border. This Texas House led impeachment is a witch hunt.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has led the fight against the corrupt Biden Administration, defended Texas election integrity, protected the lives of the unborn, and tirelessly fights to secure the southern border.
This Texas House led impeachment is a witch hunt.
— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) May 27, 2023
The Epoch Times noted further:
The vote means Paxton will be removed from office immediately to await trial in the Senate, where House members will present their cases as impeachment managers.
Two-thirds of the Senate must agree in order to remove Paxton from office permanently.
Paxton said following the House vote that the impeachment is unfair and politically motivated, adding that he looks forward to resolving the allegations in the Senate.
Several Texas House Republicans blasted the impeachment as well as the process under which it was conducted.
Rep. Brian Harrison called the impeachment a “sham” and “railroading of a political enemy,” while Rep. Mike Schofield said the investigation was conducted under the radar and members of the House were kept in the dark during the months-long probe.
“I began this week with no idea the House was considering impeaching the Attorney General. Now here, at the end of the week, we are preparing to remove him from office before the day is out,” he said.