Attorneys for impeached Republican Texas Lawyer Normal Ken Paxton on Monday sought to have most of the charges towards him dismissed, arguing that they depend on alleged acts of corruption before he was reelected to a 3rd time period in 2022.
In motions filed with the Senate, the place Paxton’s impeachment trial is scheduled to start Sept. 5, his attorneys mentioned they imagine state legislation bars the elimination of an official for conduct that occurred before their most latest election. Paxton was first elected legal professional normal in 2014 and the impeachment charges embody alleged conduct since then.
“The Articles allege nothing that Texas voters have not heard from the Lawyer Normal’s political opponents for years,” Paxton’s attorneys wrote. They accused the GOP-dominated Texas Home of Representatives of looking for to oust Paxton as a result of they had been unable to unseat him by standard vote.
“Texas voters rendered their judgement by re-electing Lawyer Normal Paxton to serve a 3rd consecutive time period. As a matter of each widespread sense and Texas legislation, that needs to be the tip of the matter,” his attorneys wrote.
Solely one of many 20 impeachment charges — an allegation that Paxton settled a whistleblower lawsuit in an effort to cover from the general public corruption allegations towards him — wouldn’t have to be dismissed below the so-called “prior time period doctrine,” Paxton’s legal professional mentioned. Paxton requested state lawmakers this yr to have the state pay the proposed $3.3 million settlement.
In a second submitting, Paxton’s attorneys mentioned the trial ought to exclude any proof of alleged conduct that occurred prior to January 2023, when his third time period in workplace started.
The motions from Paxton’s attorneys are comparable to strikes in a prison or civil authorized instances when protection attorneys search to have charges or lawsuits dismissed before trial.
On this case, the presiding officer over Paxton’s impeachment trial will probably be Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a robust Republican who additionally serves because the president of the state Senate. The Republican-controlled Senate will take into account the proof and resolve whether or not to convict or acquit Paxton within the first impeachment trial of a statewide official since 1917.
Patrick has already issued a sweeping gag order over the events and attorneys concerned forward of the Senate trial. Attorneys for Home of Representatives managers prosecuting Paxton didn’t instantly reply to the motions filed Monday.
Paxton has been suspended from workplace because the Home first permitted the articles of impeachment on Might 27. He could possibly be completely eliminated if convicted by the Senate.