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Ken Paxton trial: How the Senate and the public should hear the evidence

Fealty to party or person must be set aside.

The trial of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on 20 articles of impeachment marks one of the most important and somber moments in our state’s political history.

We are thankful that legislators from state Rep. Andrew Murr, R-Junction, who led the House General Investigating Committee, to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who will lead the trial in the Senate, have thus far treated this process with the seriousness and gravity that it deserves.

Whatever the outcome of the trial, their willingness to carefully and thoroughly bring the charges, in Murr’s case, and to set up a fair and impartial trial, in Patrick’s, has already laid a foundation of credibility for what is to come.


We have every expectation that, under the watch of former Justice Lana Myers, the trial itself will be as well conducted as seriously as the process that led to it.


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The public should watch the trial with the same respect and be ready to listen to the evidence that is presented on each of the articles with an impartial ear.

There is no question that partisans will attempt to pollute the proceedings with irrelevant noise and, worse, political intimidation. That is already happening, with threats about targeting senators who take seriously their role as jurors in this trial.


We believe that the majority of the state Senate is prepared to do its duty, to listen to the evidence, to consider the statements of witnesses and to offer fair judgment based on what is presented during the trial and nothing else.

Democracy depends on its citizens and elected representatives acting not in narrow self-interest, nor in the interest of party, but on behalf of the common good.

The rank partisanship that defines this era has become cartoonish. It would be laughable if the consequences weren’t so serious. The broadsides against some of the nation’s most conservative senators and representatives, assailing them as liberals who are attacking a conservative attorney general, are the stuff of banana republics. Blind fealty to any party or person is un-American at its base.


It doesn’t matter what party Paxton hails from. It doesn’t matter what actions he took that are unrelated to the charges at hand. What matters are the facts of what he did or did not do when the people of this state trusted him with a sacred office.

Paxton has every right to a fair and full defense, and just as we must be willing to hear the evidence against him, we must be willing to hear the defense he offers. It all must be weighed in the balance.

People who listen with an impartial ear will be able to judge for themselves the outcome of the vote on whether to convict Paxton and remove him from office.

The evidence will speak first, and then the Senate must speak on it and it alone.

We ask them to do their duty to the state and wish them Godspeed.

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