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Texas Senate rejects all motions to dismiss Ken Paxton impeachment charges

In a significant development, the Texas Senate decisively voted against Attorney General Ken Paxton’s efforts to dismiss the articles of impeachment against him. This decision marks the commencement of the first removal proceeding against a statewide elected official in over a century.

The Senate’s swift rejection of all 16 pretrial motions underscores the senators’ intent to examine the evidence against Paxton before rendering a final judgment on his fate. These votes also provide an initial glimpse into the willingness of GOP senators to take action against a fellow Republican in a statewide office.

While the motions required a simple majority to pass, the most support any motion to dismiss received was from 10 out of the 30 senators, all of whom are Republicans. It’s worth noting that the motion with the most support sought to dismiss just one of the articles of impeachment.

Had these dismissal motions received stronger support, it could have suggested a challenging path ahead for the prosecution, as the Texas Constitution mandates a two-thirds vote to convict Paxton and remove him from office. However, with the Senate voting decisively against nearly all the dismissal motions, except one, it signals a certain level of openness among senators to consider the charges against Paxton.

It’s important to highlight that while the House’s vote to impeach Paxton was both bipartisan and resounding, the Senate presents a different political landscape. Republican senators tend to align more closely with Paxton’s conservative ideology, and he has deeper personal connections within the Senate, where he previously served, and his wife currently holds a seat. As senators were under a gag order ahead of the trial, their views on the case have remained largely undisclosed until now.

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