- Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton faces 20 articles of impeachment.
- One of the articles concerns an extramarital affair he may have had.
- His wife, Angela Paxton, is a state senator who could potentially serve as a juror in the trial.
As an impeachment trial looms for the disgraced Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, one state senator could find herself in the awkward spot of playing both juror and spouse throughout the proceedings.
Paxton faces 20 articles of impeachment, which include allegations of abuse of office, bribery, and obstruction. One of the articles says that Paxton had an extramarital affair with a woman he later recommended for a job to a wealthy businessman and donor.
Paxton is expected to face a trial no later than August 28. The state’s constitution dictates that all 31 senators act as jurors and have a vote, which would include Sen. Angela Paxton, who is serving her second term in the state senate and is the wife of the attorney general.
Sen. Paxton met her husband at Baylor University. They married in 1986.
The senator has not publicly stated if she will participate in the trial or recuse herself. She did not respond to a request for comment.
A seven-member committee that the Senate appoints will decide on trial rules by June 20. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick did not specifically indicate if Sen. Paxton will be a part of the trial but told WFAA-TV that “all 31 senators” will have a vote.
In 2019, shortly after she was first elected to the Senate, Sen. Paxton introduced a bill that would have changed a state securities law that her husband violated and had previously been charged for, The Texas Tribune reported.
A year later, allegations emerged that the attorney general had had an affair with a former legislative staffer and that the relationship was linked to claims of bribery and abuse of office.
Nate Paul, a businessman, said Attorney General Paxton recommended the woman for a job at his real-estate firm, according to a deposition obtained by The Dallas Morning News.
Amid the uproar, Sen. Paxton remained close to her husband.
Last year, the senator appeared to attempt to help her husband avoid a subpoena regarding a lawsuit over the state’s abortion law, court documents obtained by the Tribune showed.
“At approximately 9:47 a.m., Angela came out and opened the driver side and rear side door behind the driver of the truck, she then got inside the truck and started it, leaving the rear door behind the driver side open,” a process server wrote in an affidavit. “A few minutes later I saw Mr. Paxton RAN from the door inside the garage towards the rear door behind the driver side.”
Now, the senator could potentially preside over her husband’s impeachment trial. She has not commented on her husband’s legal troubles since the Texas House of Representatives voted to impeach the attorney general on May 27.
“I saw a quote the other day,” the senator said in a 2019 interview with The New York Times, “and it said, the secret to a successful marriage is two sinners who are good at forgiving.”