Before Texas’ Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton was impeached by the state House last weekend, former President Donald Trump attempted to step in to stop it from happening.
He obviously was unsuccessful at doing so, as the state House overwhelmingly voted to impeach Paxton and send the case to the state Senate, which will eventually vote on whether to remove the attorney general from office. For now, he’s suspended from his post while he awaits his trial.
Trump went over to social media to warn people that they shouldn’t oppose Paxton in this fight, especially other members of the Republican Party. He said that it was a “very unfair process” that was utilized by lawmakers in Texas to oust Paxton, who is one of the most active legal officials on a state level.
The former president went on to say that he’d “fight” any and all lawmakers who ended up supporting Paxton’s impeachment. Those threats seem to have fallen on deaf ears, though, as 60 of the 85 Republicans in the Texas House voted in favor of impeaching Paxton.
In the days since the impeachment vote, many political pundits across the country have wondered whether Trump still holds political clout in Texas, one of the reddest states in the nation. While it may not be a concern for Republicans overall – since Texas is overwhelmingly likely to vote GOP in the 2024 presidential election – it could prove to be a challenge for Trump himself as his potential challengers continues to increase.
Over the last few years, Paxton has raised his national profile as a staunchly conservative voice in the legal world, allying himself with Trump on many occasions. He has filed lawsuits against President Joe Biden regarding many issues, including immigration.
But, perhaps the highest-profile thing that Paxton did was file the appeal to the Supreme Court that challenged the 2020 presidential election results in the states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia. Those requests were ultimately denied by the high court near the end of 2020.
As Saturday’s impeachment vote drew closer, Trump posted on Truth Social – the social media platform that he owns – slamming Republican lawmakers in the state of Texas, and encouraging them to allow the voters in the state to decide what Paxton’s fate would be.
“Hopefully Republicans in the Texas House will agree that this is a very unfair process that should not be allowed to happen or proceed. I will fight you if it does.”
What exactly Trump was referring to with that threat is uncertain, as he holds next to no power – and apparently not enough influence – to intervene in Texas politics.
Once the vote was made official and Paxton was impeached, many conservative voices around the country turned their attention to the Texas Senate, which will hold the impeachment trial to decide whether the attorney general will ultimately be removed from office and banned from holding future elected office in the state.
Trump even attacked the state’s Republican Governor Greg Abbott, saying that he was “missing in action” during the fight over Paxton’s impeachment.