Texas AG Impeachment Trial: Defense Withdraws Motions for Directed Verdict

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, center, strikes his gavel as he talks with defense and prosecu
AP Photo/Eric Gay

Defense counsel for Ken Paxton, flamboyant Houston attorney Tony Buzbee, motioned for a directed verdict after House impeachment attorney Rusty Hardin rested the “prosecutions” case. Senate jurors were out deliberating on the motions but returned to the Senate chamber. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick announced that the “prosecution” and the defense had withdrawn their motions.

A motion for a directed verdict is a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence presented during a trial. The defense filed motions for directed verdicts for the various articles of impeachment.

By Senate rules, the Senate jurors vote on the motions. In a regular trial, a judge rules on the motion and determines whether there is no legally sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to make any other decision.

Impeachment lawyers had also filed a motion to consolidate the two-step verdict process so that a motion to convict would automatically disqualify Paxton from holding office. The senators could not consider the motion for 24 hours. This motion was also withdrawn.

Suspended Attorney General Paxton sent out this tweet while the senate was deliberating on the motions for directed verdict:

The defense calls their first witness on Thursday morning. Michael Gerhardt, a law professor at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, specializes in constitutional law and impeachments. He is expected to take the stand when proceedings start at 9 a.m. CDT. Watch a live stream of the proceedings here on Breitbart News.

Ken Paxton has not attended the impeachment proceedings except for the first morning when he was required to enter a guilty or not guilty plea. Defense attorney Tony Buzbee entered his client’s “not guilty” plea.

Video archives of the impeachment proceedings can be found on the Texas Senate Impeachment website. The articles of Impeachment, the Rules of Procedure for the Court of Impeachment, the witness list, all motions filed by the House Board of Managers and Paxton’s defense team, exhibits, and other potential evidence are posted on the Texas Senate Court of Impeachment website.

Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She is a trial lawyer who practices criminal defense and family law in East Texas. She was a Texas prosecutor and family court associate judge in Harris County, Texas.


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