September 22, 2023

The impeachment trial of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton moved Friday into the hands of a Senate jury that was deciding whether the embattled Republican should be removed from office over corruption allegations that have shadowed him for years.

The deliberations pushed Paxton, whose three terms in office have been marred by scandal and criminal charges, closer to a defining test of his political durability after an extraordinary impeachment that was driven by his fellow Republicans and has widened party fractures in America’s biggest red state. For nearly a decade, Paxton has elevated his national profile by rushing his office into polarizing courtroom battles across the U.S., winning acclaim from Donald Trump and the GOP’s hard right.

Making one final appeal to convict Texas’ top lawyer, impeachment mangers who included Paxton’s former friends cast him as a crook. The time has come, they argued, for the state and the Republican Party to sever ties.