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, Sen. 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.”
Texas law requires each member to attend when the Senate meets as a court of impeachment, but Angela Paxton’s participation wasn’t clear prior to her announcement. Her role in the impeachment has been a point of speculation since her husband was impeached just days before the regular 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 on Monday evening.
The Senate committee that is drafting rules for the impeachment trial is expected to present those to the Texas Senate on Tuesday.
I’ve been saying all along that I fully expected Angela Paxton to not recuse because she’s not ethical enough to do so. It’s always grimly pleasurable to have one’s assessment of character verified. Her argument that it is somehow her constitutional duty to partake in the impeachment trial is risible, but par for the course. And I will note again that if we are following the Tony Buzbee model, then of course she’d be recused, and it wouldn’t have been her call to make. Even if the trial were to be held in Collin County, there’s no way she’d have ever been seated on the jury for Ken Paxton’s securities fraud trial. Why is this any different?
Well, it just is. And to an extent, that’s true – this is an impeachment, not a criminal trial, and the rules are different. The rules of common sense do still apply, though. As for what the rules for the trial will be, we’re still waiting as of when I drafted this. We could be waiting for at least a few days. This much, we now know. The Chron, Texas Monthly, Reform Austin, and the Observer have more.