Paxton acquitted; Springer voted against all 16 counts

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Sep. 16—Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been acquitted by the state Senate on all charges of improper behavior in his official duties. He was supported by a bloc of 16 Republican senators who voted against his removal from office.

State Sen. Drew Springer (R-Muenster) voted against conviction on all 16 counts against Paxton in the trial — conviction on any one count would have meant his removal from office.

State Rep. David Spiller (R-Jacksboro) — whose district includes Cooke County — supported Paxton's impeachment earlier this summer and was a member of the House team that prosecuted the case in front of the Senate.

Paxton is immediately restored to his office after being suspended from his duties earlier this summer after House members voted overwhelmingly for his impeachment.

The attorney general issued a defiant statement after the trial, which read as follows:

"Today, the truth prevailed. The truth could not be buried by mudslinging politicians or their powerful benefactors. I've said many times: Seek the truth! And that is what was accomplished.

"I thank the 4.2 million Texans who voted for me last year. I will always be grateful for your support, and I will continue to honor your vote by defending the rule of law and our constitutional rights. I'm also grateful for the state senators who followed the law and refused to overturn an election. I also thank my legal team for exposing the absurdity of these false allegations.

"Most importantly, I want to thank my amazing wife Angela, who I love dearly. She is a brave woman of deep faith, unquestionable integrity, and the light of our entire family.

"The sham impeachment coordinated by the Biden Administration with liberal House Speaker Dade Phelan and his kangaroo court has cost taxpayers millions of dollars, disrupted the work of the Office of Attorney General and left a dark and permanent stain on the Texas House.

"The weaponization of the impeachment process to settle political differences is not only wrong, it is immoral and corrupt.

"Now that this shameful process is over, my work to defend our constitutional rights will resume.

Thank you to everyone who has stood with us during this time.

"Finally, I can promise the Biden Administration the following: buckle up because your lawless policies will not go unchallenged. We will not allow you to shred the constitution and infringe on the rights of Texans. You will be held accountable.

"I will next address the nation and Texas on Tucker Carlson next week. Now it is back to work!"

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, in remarks from the bench where he presided over the Senate trial, chided the House for sending over impeachment charges in the waning days of this spring's legislative session.

"Millions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted on this impeachment. 31 Senators and a large Senate staff that made this trial possible have put their family life, jobs, and businesses on hold for three months after being here already from January to June," Patrick said.

"I will call for a full audit of all taxpayer money spent by the House from the beginning of their investigation in March to today. We will provide our costs as well that were forced on us by the House impeachment. One big difference is that the Senate did not pay a huge team of outside lawyers and investigators.

"An impeachment should never happen again in the House like it happened this year."

Check back later for more details and reactions.