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Monday, October 2, 2023

Trump says he ‘saved’ Paxton from being convicted in Texas impeachment push

Former President Trump says he “saved” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) from being convicted in his Texas impeachment trial through his “intervention” on the social media platform, Truth Social. 

“Yes, it is true that my intervention through TRUTH SOCIAL saved Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton from going down at the hands of Democrats and some Republicans, headed by PAUL RINO (Ryan), Karl Rove, and others, almost all of whom came back to reason when confronted with the facts,” Trump wrote Monday, in reference to former Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and veteran Republican strategist Karl Rove. 

Neither was directly involved in Paxton’s impeachment trial, though Rove penned an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal last month predicting the end for the attorney general.

A jury of state senators voted to acquit Paxton on all 16 articles of impeachment over the weekend, allowing him to immediately return to office. Paxton was temporarily suspended from his role after the House impeached him in May. 

“Ken Paxton has been a great A.G. and now he can go back to work for the wonderful people of Texas,” Trump said. ‘It was my honor to have helped correct this injustice.” 

Trump, a longtime ally of Paxton, did not detail exactly how he apparently helped Paxton. Over the weekend, reports surfaced that Trump allies embarked on a secret campaign to pressure Texas senators to acquit Paxton, though Trump did not reference this in his post. 

Trump backed Paxton throughout his trial, often using Truth Social to rail against Texas state leaders seeking to impeach him. Last week, Trump argued “RINOS” — Republicans in the name only — were attempting to undo Paxton’s reelection last fall. 

Paxton faced allegations including bribery, abuse of power and retaliation against whistleblowers. The charges were centered on the attorney general’s dealings with friend and political donor Nate Paul, an Austin real estate investor. 

No more than 14 state senators voted to convict on any of the 16 articles considered, with only two of 19 Republican senators — Kelly Hancock and Robert Nichols — joining Democrats to convict on some of the counts. 

The trial followed a multi-year FBI investigation into Paxton after multiple senior aides accused the embattled attorney general of using his office to help Paul, who was being investigated for fraud. 

Paxton was accused of interfering in litigation for his friend’s benefit and giving him access to nonpublic information, while Paul allegedly helped pay for a renovation at Paxton’s home. Paul also employed a woman Paxton was allegedly having an affair with.

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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