Ken Paxton

Paxton Calls Supporters to the Capitol, Says Impeachment is an ‘Act of Political Retribution'

Texas House is expected to begin impeachment debate with the full chamber on Saturday afternoon

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On Friday afternoon Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is on the brink of impeachment after years of scandal, criminal charges and corruption accusations, addressed the public for the first time since a GOP-led House committee unanimously filed 20 articles of impeachment against him on Thursday.

The GOP-led committee spent months quietly looking into Paxton and recommended Thursday that the state's top lawyer be impeached on 20 articles including bribery, unfitness for office and abuse of public trust. The House Committee on General Investigating plans to put the resolution before the full chamber with a historic vote on Saturday afternoon.

From his office in Austin Friday afternoon, Paxton made his first public comments (complete statement can be watched below) saying the impeachment was "illegal" and a "scheme" to oust him from office after voters reelected him last November.

"By proceeding with this illegal impeachment scheme to overturn a decision made by Texas voters just a few short months ago, the corrupt politicians in the Texas House are demonstrating that blind loyalty to Speaker Dade Phelan is more important than upholding their oath of office. They are determined to ignore the law," Paxton said. "They have denied me the opportunity to present the evidence which contradicts their politically motivated narrative and they are showcasing their absolute contempt for the electoral process. Every politician who supports this deceitful impeachment attempt will inflict lasting damage on the credibility of the Texas House, which I served in."

Paxton said the impeachment was "political theater" and was a curated "act of political retribution" that must come to an end. He invited his supporters to the Capitol on Saturday to peacefully let their voices be heard.

"This vote is expected to take place Saturday at 1 p.m. and I want to invite my fellow citizens and friends to peacefully come let their voices be heard at the Capitol tomorrow," Paxton said. "Exercise your right to petition your government. Let's restore the power of this great state to the people instead of to the politicians."

The attorney general said he hopes a majority of the House votes against impeachment, but that if the vote doesn't go his way he said he expected to have better luck with the state Senate.

"I hope the House makes the right decision, but if not I look forward to a quick resolution in the Texas Senate where I truly believe the process will be fair and just," Paxton said.

After Paxton made his statement Friday he turned the microphone over to Chris Hilton, the chief of general litigation at the Texas Attorney General's Office, who said the articles of impeachment laid out by the House committee are meritless and have been researched and debunked repeatedly.

Hilton (whose statement can be watched above) said Paxton was denied a transparent investigation and an opportunity to present evidence.

After the committee voted unanimously to adopt the articles of impeachment in House Resolution 2377, Paxton, issued the following statement on Twitter.

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