A significant majority of over 81 percent of the members voted in favor of impeaching Paxton on the 20 articles that were filed by the House General Investigations Committee. The final vote tally was 121 in favor (ayes), 23 against (nays), with two members present but not voting, and three abstentions, Breitbart News reported.
"The debate which lasted nearly four hours centered mostly around the process that some members believed was rushed and did not provide due process. Members of the General Investigations Committee laid out the facts they believe support the matter moving forward to a trial in the Texas Senate," the outlet's report continued.
“Today is a very grim and difficult day for this House and for the state of Texas,” House General Investigations Committee member David Spiller (R-Jacksboro) said on the House floor.
But that said, most of the objections were not about whether Paxton was innocent of the allegations. Rather, they were about the process.
“This process is indefensible,” Representative John Smithee, (R-Amarillo) said on the floor of the House. “It concerns me a lot because today it could be General Paxton, tomorrow it could be you and the next day it could be me.”
Paxton tweeted to his supporters after the vote.
"I am beyond grateful to have the support of millions of Texans who recognize that what we just witnessed is illegal, unethical, and profoundly unjust. I look forward to a quick resolution in the Texas Senate, where I have full confidence the process will be fair and just," he said in a post containing a screenshot of his full statement.
I am beyond grateful to have the support of millions of Texans who recognize that what we just witnessed is illegal, unethical, and profoundly unjust. I look forward to a quick resolution in the Texas Senate, where I have full confidence the process will be fair and just. pic.twitter.com/fEiAroA2DW
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) May 27, 2023
“Republican Speaker Dade Phelan and fellow Republicans joined with Democrats to temporarily remove” the AG “from office on accusations of bribery, obstruction of justice, and abuse of public trust,” The Epoch Times reported.
The vote in favor of impeachment did not sit well with former President Trump, himself the victim of two phony impeachments.
“Free Ken Paxton, let them wait for the next elections,” Trump wrote after the impeachment vote was taken.
Trump also lashed out at GOP Gov. Greg Abbott, whom he considered an ally, for remaining silent about the events taking place with Paxton.
“MISSING IN ACTION!” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform. “Where is the Governor of Texas on his Attorney General’s Impeachment?”
Earlier, before the impeachment vote, Trump posted, “The RINO Speaker of the House of Texas, Dade Phelan, who is barely a Republican at all and failed the test on voter integrity, wants to impeach one of the most hard-working and effective Attorney Generals in the United States, Ken Paxton, who just won reelection with a large number of American Patriots strongly voting for him.”
He added: “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.”
Republicans hold a 19-12 majority in the state Senate, meaning nine GOP members would have to join all Democrats to convict Paxton and permanently remove him from office.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also blasted the impeachment vote against Paxton.
“What is happening to @KenPaxtonTX is a travesty,” Cruz tweeted before the proceedings, blaming the Austin “swamp” for attempting to sideline one of the Biden administration’s staunchest — and most successful — opponents.
“No attorney general has battled the abuses of the Biden admin more ferociously—and more effectively—than has Paxton,” Cruz said in a Twitter post.