Texas state Sen. Angela Paxton barred from voting in husband’s impeachment trial

Texas state Sen. Angela Paxton barred from voting in husband’s impeachment trial

Texas state Sen. Angela Paxton, R-McKinney, wife of impeached state Attorney General Ken Paxton, sits in the Senate Chamber at the Texas Capitol in Austin, Texas, Monday, May 29, 2023. The historic impeachment of Paxton is plunging Republicans into a bruising fight over whether to banish one of their own in America's biggest red state. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Texas state Sen. Angela Paxton, R-McKinney, wife of impeached state Attorney General Ken Paxton, sits in the Senate Chamber at the Texas Capitol in Austin, Texas, Monday, May 29, 2023. The historic impeachment of Paxton is plunging Republicans into a bruising fight over whether to banish one of their own in America’s biggest red state. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Texas state Sen. Angela Paxton (R) will be barred from voting in her husband’s impeachment trial, which is slated to start in September in connection with accusations including of abuse of power and accepting bribes.

The Texas state Senate voted Wednesday night to adopt a new rule that would bar the spouses of those facing impeachment from participating in the trial. According to the resolution, the spouse will be considered “present and eligible” on the day of the trial for the purposes of the Senate calculation of the number of votes.

“A member of the court who is the spouse of a party to the court of impeachment is considered to have a conflict pursuant to Article III, Section 22, of the Texas Constitution,” the resolution reads.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) was impeached by the Republican-led Texas House in a 121-23 vote last month and was immediately suspended from his official duties. The state attorney general, who decried the impeachment vote as a “politically motivated sham,” was impeached for more than 20 charges including bribery, obstruction of justice, false statements, dereliction of duty, unfitness for office and abuse of public trust.

The Senate voted to begin the impeachment trial Sept. 5.

The state senator had said Monday that she planned to hold up her senatorial duties and participate in her husband’s impeachment trial before she was barred from doing so.

“Texas law compels each member of the Senate to attend when the Senate meets as a court of impeachment,” she said in a statement at the time. “As a member of the Senate, I hold these obligations sacred and I will carry out my duties, not because it is easy, but because the Constitution demands it and because my constituents deserve it.”

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