Dem 51
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Paxton Clock Is Ticking

After years and years of corrupt behavior, the walls closed in on Texas AG Ken Paxton very, very rapidly. In the span of 3 days, he went from "hunky dory" to "impeached." As the committee vote recommending impeachment was unanimous and the whole state House vote to impeach was overwhelming and bipartisan, and as the list of offenses is lengthy, the AG is in a lot of trouble here.

It looks like he won't have to wait too long to learn his fate. With the regular legislative session wrapping up this week, the state Senate passed S.R. No. 735, which sets a general timeline for Paxton's trial in the upper chamber. It does not specify precisely when the fun will commence, but it does say that the start date can be no later than August 28. It's up to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R-TX) to narrow it down from there; he will presumably give both sides enough time to prepare their cases and to make time in their schedules (since being a legislator is a part-time job in Texas, and the members will be back at their regular vocations starting this week).

The Paxton situation has taken on national overtones, as Donald Trump is putting on a full-court press in an effort to save the AG, and is trying to twist the arms of every Republican member of the state Senate. If Paxton survives, then the former president will take all the credit, perhaps rightly so. If Paxton falls, on the other hand, it will be yet another sign that Trump is a modern-day Headless Horseman, and that his power only extends so far. (Z)

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