LIVE — TEXAS AG IMPEACHMENT DAY 8: Defense Presents Its Case

The defense of suspended Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton takes center stage in the impeachment trial on Thursday after the House rested Wednesday evening.

The defense calls their first witness on Thursday morning. Justin Gordon, Texas OAG Open Records Division Chief, testified regarding procedures for open records.

Defense attorneys called Michael Gerhardt, a law professor at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, who specializes in constitutional law and impeachments Wednesday evening. However, the trial adjourned for the evening before he could begin his testimony.

Under the Senate rules for impeachment, the defense has limited time to present their case. Lt. Governor Patrick announced the defense have hours and 38 minutes remaining in their time. House Managers have two hours and 34 minutes remaining.

Texas House “prosecutors” started Day 7 of the impeachment trial of suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton by calling his mistress as a witness.

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, President of the Texas Senate, announced that Olson could not appear as a witness until mid-afternoon because she had not received 24-hour notice as required under the rules. By late afternoon, Patrick announced, “She (Olson) is present but has been deemed unavailable to testify.”


Other witnesses included additional key members of Paxton’s staff. These included Blake Brickman and Andrew Wicker. Mitte Foundation attorney Ray Chester and Amplify Credit Union CEO Kendall Garrison also testified.

In a reminder of the political pressures faced by the Senate “jurors” in this matter, former President Donald Trump posted, once again, his support for AG Paxton.  Trump called the impeachment a “SAD day in the Great State of Texas!”

After the “prosecution” rested on Wednesday, defense attorney Tony Buzbee motioned for a directed verdict.

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.

After the Senators deliberated on the motions, Buzbee withdrew the motions and elected to proceed with the presentation of Paxton’s defense.

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.

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.

Bob Price is the Breitbart Texas-Border team’s associate editor and senior news contributor. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.


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