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WATCH LIVE: Day 8 of Ken Paxton Impeachment Trial

Watch a livestream of the attorney general’s impeachment trial and get the latest updates as senators weigh his political future.
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Posted at 6:51 AM, Sep 14, 2023

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The historic impeachment trial of suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton is underway in the Texas Senate. He faces 16 articles of impeachment that accuse him ofmisusing the powers of the attorney general’s office to help his friend and donor Nate Paul, an Austin real estate investor who was under federal investigation.

Paxton pleaded not guilty to all impeachment articles on the trial’s first day. His defense attorneys have vowed to disprove the accusations and said they will present evidence showing they are based on assumptions, not facts.

Trial set to restart with testimony from defense’s first witness

Suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton’s impeachment trial is expected to resume at 9 a.m. Thursday with testimony from his defense team’s first witness.

Prosecutors rested their case Wednesday afternoon — but they did so accidentally, setting off a chain of events that included a defense motion to dismiss the articles of impeachment as unproven by the prosecution. However, Paxton’s lawyers withdrew their motion for a directed verdict while senators stepped away to debate the motion privately.

Earlier Wednesday, Paxton’s former executive aide, Drew Wicker, testified that he grew increasingly uneasy with Paxton’s behavior in 2020 — and particularly with his close relationship with Nate Paul, an Austin real estate investor and political donor.

Wicker recalled a conversation between Paxton and a contractor about a kitchen renovation at Paxton’s Tarrytown home in which the contractor said he needed to “check with Nate” about changes that would add $20,000 to the cost. Paxton’s lawyer produced two photographs of Paxton’s kitchen, one taken before the renovation in 2020 and the other from last month. Wicker confirmed they showed no changes to the counters, cabinets or stove.

The day began with prosecutors calling as a witness Laura Olson, who according to testimony had an affair with the married Paxton. However, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the trial’s presiding officer, announced that Olson would have to testify in the afternoon because she had not been given 24-hour notice. Patrick later said both sides had agreed that Olson was “deemed unavailable” to serve as a witness.

Olson’s relationship with Paxton is central to the impeachment case. House managers allege that Paxton misused his office to help Paul; in exchange, Paul hired Olson to work at his business so she could be closer to Paxton.

— Alejandro Martínez-Cabrera

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"Paxton trial updates: Defense team set to start with testimony from its first witness" was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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