AUSTIN, Texas — The historic impeachment trial for suspended Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton continues this week at our state capitol.
Paxton’s political future is up in the air as he faces accusations of corruption. He denies wrongdoing.
The first week of this trial featured tears, yelling and a lot of dramatic testimony inside the Senate chamber. We can expect more this week as well.
So far we’ve heard from four witnesses, including whistleblowers who went to law enforcement accusing Paxton of alleged crimes. They told the Texas Senate, which is acting as the jury in this trial, that they believe Paxton used the power of the Office of Attorney General to help one man – friend and political donor Nate Paul.
Paxton is charged with 20 articles of impeachment, dealing with things like corruption, bribery and obstruction of justice. Sixteen of them are being considered at this trial.
KHOU 11 political analyst Brandon Rottinghaus said this is really the defense’s trial to lose, since the burden is on the prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Paxton is guilty of the articles of impeachment.
“The House managers want to provide more concrete evidence about what it was that Ken Paxton actually did,” Rottinghaus said. “I think what we’re going to see this week is about bribery. That’s what a lot of the articles are connected to, but we haven’t had a lot of testimony on that, so I think that is one of the holes that we’re probably going to see filled up this week.”
As for who we could see this week, Rottinghaus gave some possibilities.
"I think that there’s a chance that we could hear from Drew Wicker, who was the attorney general’s body man to testify about bribery issues," he said. "I think we’re going to see Brandon Cammack, who was one of the individuals hired by Ken Paxton as an attorney. We may see some surprise witnesses, like Nate Paul, who is at the center of the bribery case. So there are going to be some big opportunities, I think, this week for the prosecution."
Right now, each side is about halfway through their allotted time of presenting witness testimony and evidence. The Senate is set to reconvene at 9 a.m.