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Paxton's defense attorney labels impeachment 'a sham,' raises concerns of trial timeline

Paxton's defense attorney labels impeachment 'a sham,' raises concerns of trial timeline (KEYE)
Paxton's defense attorney labels impeachment 'a sham,' raises concerns of trial timeline (KEYE)
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A prominent Texas-based attorney announced Wednesday at a news conference that he would be representing Attorney General Ken Paxton in his upcoming Senate trial, calling the impeachment process "baloney."

Tony Buzbee, who previously represented former Gov. Rick Perry on charges of abuse of office, told reporters on Wednesday he was not retained using public funds. He labeled the impeachment proceedings "a sham."

Just so we're clear, the allegations are untrue, they are false," he said. "When I read the 20 Articles of Impeachment, my first thought was these are worthless and weak. And I'm embarrassed: embarrassed that our House would send something like that out, and vote on something like that, and send it to the Senate with a suggestion that there should be some sort of trial."

Among Buzbee's criticisms was the rapid pace of the impeachment proceedings: the investigation into Paxton was only publicly revealed two days before articles of impeachment were introduced. The House then voted to impeach Paxton days later.

"If [the Senate decides] to consider, it should be thrown out in one case motion," Buzbee said. "If this isn't dismissed summarily, then we are girded up for a fight."

He also raised concerns about the move for a Senate trial to take place before the end of August, saying a "real trial" would take "a lot longer than that."

Last week, the House Board of Managers, a bipartisan group of representatives "managing" Paxton's trial, introduced Dick DeGuerin and Rusty Hardin as the attorneys prosecuting the case against Paxton.

The Senate is set to establish rules for how the trial will proceed on June 20. In the same resolution marking that notice, the Senate called on Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who will preside over the trial akin to a judge, to set a date and time for the trial before August 28.

Buzbee did not directly weigh in on whether or not Sen. Angela Paxton, Ken Paxton's wife, should recuse herself from acting as a juror in the Senate trial, saying it was up to her to make that decision. Though he did not say yes or no, he seemingly left the door open on possibly calling her as a witness in the trial if she does recuse herself.

On Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott similarly said that it is Angela Paxton's own decision on whether or not to recuse herself. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick did not comment on her possible recusal, given that he is presiding over the trial.

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