The lead attorney for embattled Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the Republican will not take the stand during his impeachment trial later this year.
Paxton's lawyer, Tony Buzbee, made the announcement in a lengthy statement, criticizing the investigation as a "weaponization of state power."
"The House has ignored precedent, denied him an opportunity to prepare his defense, and now wants to ambush him on the floor of the Senate," Buzbee said. "They had the opportunity to have Attorney General Paxton testify during their sham investigation but refused to do so."
The Texas House voted overwhelmingly in May to move forward with 20 articles of impeachment against Paxton over allegations of bribery, disregard for his official duties and obstruction of justice. The vote came after a monthslong investigation into accusations that Paxton misused official information, abused his power and attempted to hide an affair.
Paxton has dismissed the accusations as politically motivated and even accused Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan of being drunk when he presided over the session. Phelan brushed off the accusations as a desperate attempt by Paxton "to save face."
The Republican-controlled Texas Senate also voted last month on rules that bar Paxton's wife, Sen. Angela Paxton, from participating in the impeachment trial. She had previously signaled her intention to vote on the proceedings, but lawmakers decided that would be a conflict of interest.
Ken Paxton is currently suspended pending the outcome of his Sept. 5 impeachment trial. If impeached, he would become just the third state official in state history to be permanently removed from office.
Separately, Paxton is under investigation by the FBI over accusations that he used his power to help a political donor. He's also awaiting trial on securities fraud charges from 2015.
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