AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Senate will hold the impeachment trial of Attorney General Ken Paxton no later than Aug. 28, according to a resolution passed Monday by the legislative body.
The resolution was adopted by a unanimous vote, KXAN-TV reported. The decision came after the House appointed 12 members who will serve as prosecutors during the trial. The House approved their selection by a 136-4 vote, according to the television station.
The committee, made up of seven Republicans and five Democrats, was selected by House Speaker Dale Phelan, The Dallas Morning News reported.
Paxton, 60, a third-term Republican who was re-elected last year, is accused of bribery, obstruction of justice, dereliction of duty and abuse of the public trust, the Morning News reported.
Paxton was not invited to speak before the House. During a news conference on Friday, he called the impeachment vote “deceitful” and an “act of political retribution,” according to the American-Statesman.
On Saturday, the Texas House voted by a 121-23 margin to adopt 20 articles of impeachment against Paxton. Removing him from office would require a two-thirds majority of the Senate, The Associated Press reported,
One of the 31 senators is Paxton’s wife, Angela Paxton. She is one of 19 Republican senators.
She has not said whether she will participate in the hearing or recuse herself, the Morning News reported. If Angela Paxton participates, it would require 21 senators to remove her husband from office.
Ken Paxton is only the third sitting official in Texas history to be impeached. The others were Gov. James Ferguson in 1917 and District Judge O.P. Carrillo in 1975, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
After the impeachment vote by the House, Paxton was immediately barred from performing his official duties as attorney general.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Monday named seven senators to serve on a special committee that will frame the rules for the trial, KXAN reported.
Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, will serve as the chair, while Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, will be the vice chair, according to the television station. Other committee members include Sens. Brandon Creighton of Conroe, Pete Flores of Pleasanton, Joan Huffman of Houston, Phil King of Weatherford and Royce West of Dallas.
Patrick, who serves as president of the Senate, will be the judge during the trial, the Morning News reported.
Paxton posted photographs on his Twitter account on Monday that showed people rallying on his behalf.
“Thank you to all in Collin County for your support today!” he wrote.