Texas House of Representatives lawmakers have ordered the impeachment of Paxton, the state’s chief justice officer, who has been charged with 20 counts of bribery, interference with investigations and abuse of public trust.
The resolution passed the Republican-dominated parliament with 121 “yes” votes to 23 “no” votes.
Under state law, Paxton was suspended from his post until the state senate’s final decision on the charges against him was finalized.
Paxton’s dismissal requires the approval of two-thirds of lawmakers in the state senate.
Paxton’s reaction to the decision
In his post on Twitter, Paxton reacted to the decision, which he described as “unlawful and unethical and extremely unfair”.
Paxton accused Texas Speaker of the House of Representatives Dade Phelan, arguing the decision was “politically motivated.”
“Instead of passing critical laws that would strengthen our borders, protect our elections, or prevent the Chinese Communist Party from buying Texas land, they chose to spend the last days of the legislative session defaming me.” said Paxton, and also blamed Democrats and “liberal Republicans”.
Paxton said he was confident that a “fair decision” would come from the Texas Senate.
Most of the charges against Attorney General Paxton relate to his relationship with real estate investor Nate Paul. Paul allegedly asked the Attorney General to intervene in an FBI investigation into his donation to Paxton’s campaign in past years.
Thereupon, it is alleged that Paxton tried to intervene in the investigation in favor of Paul.