Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Ken Paxton, Who Tried to Overturn an Election, Says Impeaching Him Would Be Overturning an Election – Mother Jones



Jacqueline Martin/AP

Fight Disinformation: Sign up for free Mother Jones Deli Newsletter and follow the news that matters.

On Thursday, a Texas House panel Voted to recommend impeachment proceedings for Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton. Committee investigators concluded that the state’s top law enforcement official broke several laws—including felony statutes—by using his office to help a friend and political donor named Nate Paul. (You can read more about the scandal and the committee’s investigation here.)

Paxton, it might surprise you to learn that he’s not taking it too well. In a statement Following the committee’s announcement, Paxton, who had been re-elected last fall, accused his fellow Republicans of carrying water for liberal Democrats and claimed that the committee “used its baseless intent to overturn the results of a free and fair election”. Trying to access the report.” It was an “illegitimate attempt to overthrow the will of the people and disenfranchise the electorate of our state.”

In form of Texas Observerjustin miller notedIn this paper, Paxton and his team are presenting a legal argument that holds that a public official cannot be impeached after an election for actions that were widely established prior to that election. The idea that all the facts were known, however, would seem less serious than Paxton’s constant insistence that the facts we think were wrong, as well as the fact that he was literally trying to pay off the state legislature Were staying Whistleblowers shelled out $3.3 million to settle their claims rather than face a public trial—which prompted an investigation by the legislature. It was not that his re-election slogan was “Yeah, I did it.”

But more importantly, we’re talking about Ken Paxton. You know, the man who famously tried to overturn an election,

After the 2020 presidential election, as Donald Trump and his team scrambled to come up with a way to reverse their loss, Paxton stepped forward. As I reported in a profile of Paxton last year, his office asked the Supreme Court to throw out election results in four states that Joe Biden won, claiming, among other things, that “The Statistical Improbability of Mr. Biden Wins the Popular Vote.” These four states collectively have 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000. The brief was a disaster, claims for recycling having already been dismissed. Even the Republican-run AG office wanted to distance itself from him. In internal emails obtained through a records request by the group American Oversight, staffers at the Florida Attorney General’s office called Paxton’s acronym “batshit” and wondered whether “this is Paxton’s request for clemency.”

You know this for sure, because you know where it went. The Supreme Court declined to hear his case, but Paxton traveled to Washington, D.C. that winter, where he was among Republican officials who addressed Trump supporters before storming the Capitol on January 6. did.

Power now rests in the legislature’s lower chamber, which has until Monday to vote on impeachment before the regular session ends. Paxton may have complained about attempts to “overthrow the will of the people and disenfranchise the electorate”. But people considering their fate also got elected.