Embattled Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton will not testify in his upcoming impeachment trial that could result in the Republican being permanently removed from office, according to his defense team.
In a lengthy statement released Monday night, Paxton’s lead attorney against criticized the proceedings that led to the GOP-controlled Texas House impeaching the state’s top law enforcement in May.
The trial in the Texas Senate is scheduled to begin Sept. 5.
“They had the opportunity to have Attorney General Paxton testify during their sham investigation but refused to do so,” attorney Tony Buzbee said in a statement. “We will not bow to their evil, illegal, and unprecedented weaponization of state power in the Senate chamber.”
A spokesman for the House managers leading the impeachment did not immediately return a message seeking comment Tuesday.
Paxton, a Republican, is temporarily suspended from office pending the outcome of his trial on 20 articles of impeachment that include charges of bribery and abuse of office. Separately, he is under FBI investigation over accusations that he used his power to help a donor. That donor was indicted in a federal court in Austin last month on charges of making false statements to banks.
Paxton is also still awaiting trial on felony securities fraud charges from 2015. He has pleaded not guilty and has never been given a deposition in the case’s eight-year history, according to impeachment managers.
Republished with permission from The Associated Press.