Editor’s Note: This story is a recap from week one of the Ken Paxton impeachment trial. Click here for the latest livestream and coverage of the trial.
AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Republicans from Texas are weighing in on the evidence outlined during the first week of suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton’s impeachment trial, with a range of opinions on the allegations.
In Washington, D.C. Thursday, Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, expressed grave concern for what he heard during the trial, telling a group of reporters he has been listening to proceedings when he can.
“It’s deeply disturbing — the allegations that are made, some of the evidence,” he said.
Cornyn implied that the trial is warranted based on the facts of the case thus far, drawing contrast to the federal House impeachments of former President Donald Trump.
“Having been a veteran of two impeachment trials myself here recently, it’s a unique process, but I think it’s unfolding the way it should,” he said. “I think the lieutenant governor has done a good job, making sure that it’s not an overly politicized process and that Attorney General Paxton gets a fair hearing but also the whistleblowers who claimed he was performing illegal acts gets a fair hearing too.”
Former Congressman Louis Gohmert — who ran against Paxton in the 2022 Republican primary race for AG — echoed Cornyn’s sentiments in a Thursday op-ed piece for The Daily Caller, with the title “Ken Paxton Is Not A Victim.”
“Having looked into the allegations against Paxton, I saw impeachment and indictment would most likely come and that Paxton remaining in office could neutralize conservatives in Texas and cost Republicans the next election,” Gohmert wrote. “I’ve seen corrupt prosecution. Pursuing Paxton is not it.”
The latest polling from The Texas Politics Project shows Republican voters have mixed emotions about Paxton’s fate.
Pollsters surveyed 1,200 registered voters, asking directly if they thought Paxton took actions that justify removal from office: 24% of Republican voters said yes, 32% said no, and 43% said they didn’t know or hadn’t formed an opinion.
While a gag order is in place for all lawmakers, lawyers, staffers and anyone else involved in the impeachment trial — some state legislators made comments online during the first week of the trial.
Rep. Cody Harris, R-Palestine, commented on testimony from one of the whistleblowers and former top Paxton staffers on Friday.
“TX Ranger David Maxwell gave the most powerful and sincere testimony today as a witness in the trial to impeach AG Ken Paxton. His no-nonsense and unshakeable composure, and his undeniable expertise while delivering the truth, closed out the week by giving Texans a strong sense of hope and reassurance that justice will be fairly delivered,” Harris wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Paxton continues to receive support from other conservatives. Former Republican state Rep. Jonathan Stickland called the effort to impeach Paxton “desperate” on social media.
“If you have proof, or evidence @KenPaxtonTX committed a crime, you better bring it to the RINOs from the Texas House right now. Their case against him is weaker than anyone could have imagined,” Stickland wrote on X.
Stickland also leads Defend Texas Liberty, a political action committee that has donated millions of dollars to far-right candidates in the state. His PAC gave Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presides over the trial — $3 million in the months before the trial began.
The attorney general has and continues to deny all of the allegations he faces in the impeachment articles. The trial will resume Monday at 9 a.m.