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Here's why you don't see suspended Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton at his impeachment trial

KHOU 11 political analyst Brandon Rottinghaus said there are theories as to why he’s no longer in the Senate chamber.

HOUSTON — If you’ve been watching the Ken Paxton impeachment trial, you’ve probably noticed that the suspended attorney general hasn’t been in the Senate chamber since before the lunch break of the first day on Tuesday.

So where is Ken Paxton?  We don't know, but what we do know he's not inside the Senate chamber for his impeachment trial.

Paxton was present on time on the first day, but when he wasn’t there after the lunch break on day 1, it caught the attention of prosecutor Rusty Hardin. 

Hardin asked about it in the exchange below. At first, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who is presiding over the impeachment trial, agreed with Hardin that Paxton should be there, but after a brief conference, Patrick acknowledged that the rules stated that he was only required to be there at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

“If this is a real criminal trial, he'll be required to be there,” KHOU 11 political analyst Brandon Rottinghaus said.  “But because it's a political trial, it's sort of a hybrid, and we don't have to have him present. That wasn't part of the deal.” 

Rottinghaus went on to say there are theories as to why he’s no longer in the Senate chamber.

“One is that they want to put the emphasis on Angela Paxton as the kind of aggrieved spouse, but they also, of course, don't want to put Ken Paxton in a position where he's got to react to every single thing that happens,” Rottinghaus said.  

Senate rules only required Paxton to be present at the start of the impeachment trial. They also say he cannot be forced to testify. Paxton attended the start of the first day Tuesday when he gave a kiss to his wife on the Senate floor. She waved to a few dozen supporters in the gallery.

Paxton let his attorney enter “not guilty” pleas on his behalf before leaving, over the protests of a lawyer hired by House impeachment managers to lead the case.


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