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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was acquitted of 16 corruption charges in an impeachment trial related to claims that he went to criminal lengths to help a real estate developer under FBI investigation.

According to an Associated Press report, Paxton was acquitted on Saturday of charges of misconduct, bribery and corruption. The acquittal came mostly on party lines – at least nine Republican senators were needed to cross the aisle and vote for impeachment, but no more than two considered Paxton guilty on any of the charges.

Eight of Paxton’s former deputies reported him to the FBI in 2020 regarding his ties to Nate Paul, a real estate developer who is under an ongoing federal investigation. Paul was indicted in June on charges of making false statements to banks and pleaded not guilty. Three of the former aides who reported Paxton to the FBI were in the Senate gallery as the verdict was returned but walked out midway through the proceedings.

Paxton still faces a federal trial on felony securities fraud charges and is under a separate FBI investigation. He could also lose his law license in Texas for his attempts to overturn the 2020 election results.

Nonetheless, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott welcomed his fellow Republican official back to work, declaring, “Attorney General Paxton has done an outstanding job representing Texas, especially pushing back against the Biden Administration. I look forward to continuing to work with him to secure the border and protect Texas from federal overreach.”

Photo by Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons