AUSTIN, Texas — Hundreds of people will descend on the Texas Capitol on Tuesday for the third impeachment trial in state history, when Attorney General Ken Paxton will face charges of corruption, abuse of public trust and more.
The Republican firebrand was impeached in May by an overwhelming vote in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives on 20 articles of impeachment. Now, the state Senate, convened as a high court of impeachment, will consider whether to remove him from office. The state’s 31 senators, 19 of them Republican, will act as the jury, with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick presiding over the proceedings. Hundreds of spectators including members of the public and the media will watch from the Senate gallery above them.
It’s a dramatic fall for a man who gained a national profile as a leader of red states’ opposition on everything from health care to immigration during President Barack Obama’s administration and who became a key conservative ally of Donald Trump when he was in the White House. Paxton has denied all wrongdoing and vowed to fight the allegations.
More than 100 people have received subpoenas to testify. After they were all initially ordered to appear outside the front door of the Senate chamber on Tuesday at 11 a.m. — setting the stage for a remarkable political spectacle — Patrick amended his order to allow for witnesses to be scheduled to appear later in the trial.