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Paxton's Wife Won't Recuse

As long as we are on the subject of state legislatures, there was also some news out of Texas. State AG Ken Paxton is sidelined right now, as he awaits his impeachment trial on influence peddling and other charges. That trial will take place sometime in August, most likely, and no later than Aug. 28. One of the state senators, a.k.a. one of Paxton's jurors, is Angela Paxton, who also happens to be his wife.

Yesterday, after many occasions where she declined to answer questions from reporters on the issue, Angela Paxton announced that she will not recuse herself from the impeachment trial. Her argument is that state law requires her to be there, and that her more than 1 million constituents deserve to be represented at the hearings.

These justifications aren't especially persuasive. Clearly, if a member is in the hospital recovering from a heart attack, or is stuck in Cancun because the state electrical grid broke down, they can forego attendance at a meeting of the state Senate. And even if skipping the hearing is indeed deemed to be "against the law," it is highly improbable that her colleagues are going to sanction her for recusing. After all, Ken is the Paxton family member who gets impeached in Texas, not Angela.

Given this doesn't-pass-the-smell-test, I'm-just-doing-my-job framing, Mrs. Paxton is presumably planning to be a vote to acquit Mr. Paxton. The AG is in enough hot water that it sure looks like he's going to be convicted and removed from office with votes to spare. But if he somehow survives by a margin of one vote, and that one vote is from his spouse, there is going to be some Texas-sized shouting about corruption. (Z)

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