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Texas House votes to impeach state Attorney General Ken Paxton

AYESHA RASCOE, HOST:

With the sound of the clerk ringing the bell...

(SOUNDBITE OF COURT BELL RINGING)

RASCOE: ...There was a stunning development in the Texas House of Representatives yesterday.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DADE PHELAN: Mr. Murr voting aye.

(SOUNDBITE OF COURT BELL RINGING)

RASCOE: One headline called it an intra-GOP showdown. But when the votes were in...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PHELAN: Have all members voted?

(SOUNDBITE OF COURT BELL RINGING)

RASCOE: ...One hundred and twenty-one House members, including 60 Republicans, voted to impeach Texas State Attorney General Ken Paxton.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PHELAN: The resolution is adopted. The chair directs the chief clerk to notify the governor of the House's action.

RASCOE: The impeachment stems from allegations made by former staffers of Ken Paxton accusing him of bribery, improper influence and abuse of office. The allegations date back to 2020, but a few months ago, Paxton announced he'd reached a settlement of $3.3 million with the staffers and asked the state to pick up the tab. That led to a Texas House committee investigation and, eventually, yesterday's impeachment. Ken Paxton has denied any allegations of wrongdoing, calling the proceedings a sham. Next up, a trial in the Texas Senate, where members include Paxton's own wife. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Ayesha Rascoe is a White House correspondent for NPR. She is currently covering her third presidential administration. Rascoe's White House coverage has included a number of high profile foreign trips, including President Trump's 2019 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, Vietnam, and President Obama's final NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland in 2016. As a part of the White House team, she's also a regular on the NPR Politics Podcast.
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