AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton ‘s impeachment trial on abuse of power charges could be in the hands of the jury as soon as this week, the presiding officer said Monday.
The second week of the historic proceedings began with testimony from another of Paxton’s former aides who reported him to the FBI in 2020 and accused the Republican of misusing his office to help a donor. Paxton, who has pleaded not guilty, was again not in the Texas Senate for the testimony.
The trial may not reach a third week. Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who is presiding over the trial, said each side has so far used about half its allotted time for arguments and that the case could go to the jury later this week.
Patrick also said there will be no more days off until the trial is resolved, raising the possibility that a decision could come over the weekend.
The jury is the Republican-controlled state Senate, where Paxton was once a senator before becoming attorney general in 2015 and still has conservative allies. His wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton, is also one of 31 senators in the chamber but is not allowed a vote in the trial.
Paxton was indicted on felony securities fraud charges in 2015 and has been under FBI investigation since an extraordinary revolt by his top deputies five years later. Taking the witness stand Monday, Mark Penley, one of those former deputies, was the latest to recount allegations of Paxton pressuring them to help a local developer named Nate Paul, who had given Paxton a $25,000 campaign contribution and was under FBI investigation.
Paul, who was indicted this summer on charges of defrauding banks, had accused FBI agents and a judge of wrongdoing. Penley said he wanted no part of it.
“That we would investigate a federal magistrate judge, and federal prosecutors, is insane,” Penley said.
Find AP’s full coverage of the impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton at: https://apnews.com/hub/ken-paxton