The Texas House General Investigating Committee voted unanimously Thursday to recommend articles of impeachment against state Attorney General Ken Paxton.
The committee held the vote during a special session Thursday after Paxton asked state officials to spend public money for a proposed $3.3 million settlement to end a lawsuit by his former staff, accusing him of retaliation, according to the Texas Tribune. The House will now decide whether or not to move forward with the recommendations but only has until May 29 to do so before the legislative session ends. (RELATED: ‘Credibility Crisis’: Texas AG Calls On State’s House Speaker To Resign)
Paxton has been re-elected to the position of attorney general twice since charges of security fraud, according to Axios. He is currently under investigation by the FBI after a whistleblower accused him of bribery, but Paxton has denied all wronging regarding the accusations.
If a majority of the House approves the measure before the deadline, state senators would convene a special session to conduct an investigation, according to the Texas Tribune. An impeachment against an attorney general is an unprecedented move and if approved, Paxton would be the first to be impeached by a legislature.
Chris Hilton, chief of general litigation for the attorney general’s office, attempted to stop the committee’s meeting before it began, demanding that the committee was “trying to thwart the will of the voters.”
“The people deserve to hear from this office in the context of this investigation,” Hilton said. “The voters want Ken Paxton, and this committee — by investigating him, by not allowing us to be heard here today, by never reaching out to us at any time during this investigative process — is trying to thwart the will of the voters. We deserve to be heard here today.”
Paxton called on Republican Texas House Speaker Dade Phalen to resign Tuesday after he was accused of being intoxicated while conducting legislative business. Phalen appeared to slur his words while conducting a late-night House session, leading officials to wonder whether he was having a stroke or under the influence.
Paxton did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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