Sign up for The Brief, The Texas Tribune’s daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.
After weeks of speculation, state Sen. Angela Paxton announced late Monday that she will attend the impeachment trial of her husband, suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton, the McKinney Republican said in a statement issued late Monday.
“Each time I was elected, I took an oath to uphold the Constitution and the laws of this great state, and Texas law compels each member of the Senate to attend when the Senate meets as a court of impeachment,” Angela Paxton’s announcement stated. “As a member of the Senate, I hold these obligations sacred and I will carry out my duties, not because it is easy, but because the Constitution demands it and because my constituents deserve it.”
Ken Paxton faces 20 articles of impeachment as a result of a monthslong investigation by the House General Investigating Committee. Those articles include accusations of bribery, retaliating against whistleblowers and obstruction of justice. As a result, the suspended attorney general will face a trial in the Senate by Aug. 28 in which the upper chamber’s 31 members will act as jurors in the decision of whether to remove one of the state’s top elected Republicans from office.
Texas law requires each member to attend when the Senate meets as a court of impeachment, but Angela Paxton’s participation wasn’t clear before her announcement. Her role in the impeachment has been a point of speculation since her husband was impeached just days before the regular legislative session ended in May.
The Texas Constitution also says legislators should recuse themselves from matters in which they have a personal stake, which Angela Paxton’s statement did not address. Her office did not immediately return a request for comment Monday evening.
The Senate committee that is drafting rules for the impeachment trial is expected to present those to the upper chamber on Tuesday.
Angela Paxton has supported her husband even as his scandals have mounted during her two terms in the Texas Senate. He helped fund her first campaign with a $2 million loan, and once she was elected she tried to pass legislation that would have benefited him and his office.
The suspended Texas attorney general has maintained his innocence against the charges. On Monday, he incorporated his pending impeachment trial into a campaign fundraising appeal.
“RINOS and far-left radicals have established a kangaroo court in the TX Lege. to eliminate America’s most conservative Attorney General,” Paxton wrote on Twitter, including a link to donate to his campaign.
Go behind the headlines with newly announced speakers at the 2023 Texas Tribune Festival, in downtown Austin from Sept. 21-23. Join them to get their take on what’s next for Texas and the nation.