Ken Paxton: Texas Attorney General acquitted of corruption charges

Ken Paxton
Ken Paxton denied any wrongdoing (Image: Reuters)

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been acquitted of corruption charges following an impeachment process which divided Republicans governing the US state.

Mr Paxton – a Donald Trump ally – can resume his work in elected office after being suspended in May.

“The truth could not be buried by mudslinging politicians or their powerful benefactors,” Mr Paxton said.

He was cleared of 16 counts in a vote in the state Senate.

In May, more than 60 Republicans in the Texas House of Representatives crossed party lines to impeach the state state’s top lawyer on counts of corruption, obstruction of justice, bribery and abuse of public trust.

But in the state’s Senate – also dominated by the party – only two Republicans voted to remove him from office on any of the counts.

The charges related to favours he allegedly granted a Texas real estate developer, the use of public funds to punish whistleblowers on his staff and cover up their allegations, and benefits he directed to a woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair.

The attorney general has always denied any wrongdoing and called the impeachment a “politically-motivated sham”.

Mr Paxton is one of Donald Trump’s most ardent supporters in Texas, supporting the former president’s unsuccessful attempts to challenge his 2020 election defeat.

The impeachment divided the Republican Party between a pro-Trump faction and more traditional conservatives.

Shortly after the attorney general was impeached, Mr Trump posted “free Ken Paxton” on his social media site Truth Social and called the effort “election interference” by “radical left Democrats”, criminals and insufficiently loyal Republicans.

More than 100 witnesses were scheduled to testify, including some close associates of Mr Paxton who accused him of wrongdoing.

He still faces state charges for securities fraud, in a case that go back to shortly after he won office eight years ago. The FBI has probed the same allegations.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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