FOX 7 Focus: Texas AG Ken Paxton acquitted

Impeached Texas AG Ken Paxton has been acquitted on all 16 articles of impeachment by the Texas Senate.

The trial came to an end Saturday afternoon after about two weeks of testimony with not a single article of impeachment getting close to the required 21 votes needed to remove Paxton from office.

In this FOX 7 Focus, Prairie View A&M constitutional law professor Eddy Carder joins FOX 7 Austin's John Krinjak to offer his insight into the trial and what's next for Paxton.

JOHN KRINJAK: What is your reaction, first of all, to what we saw today? How surprised, how unsurprised were you by not just an acquittal, but an acquittal on all counts?

EDDY CARDER: You know, it's very interesting. Early on, it appeared that it was the House manager's case to lose. They promised much and delivered little. As the case unfolded and as the impeachment trial unfolded, it became increasingly apparent that the prosecutors simply could not meet their burden of proof. Their evidence was insufficient to meet that burden of proof. The House managers really, and their legal team engaged in what I would consider to be general accusations and innuendo. Innuendo. There was a lack of substantive facts.

JOHN KRINJAK: So looking back at the trial as a whole, are there any moments that stick out to you?

EDDY CARDER: That's a very interesting question as well as you look at the entire process of the trial. One thing that struck out stuck out to me was the demeanor of the House manager's legal team. It seemed that from the get go, the legal team was somewhat disengaged. They were not as passionate about the responsibility as I would have expected them to be. On the other hand, there was the tremendous conclusion by Attorney Buzbee, A.G. Paxton's attorney. I think that I underestimated Attorney Buzbee.


JOHN KRINJAK: I think the big question a lot of people have is, is what happens now, right? I mean, does this Ken Paxton just go back to work like nothing happened and we have this criminal case that's going forward as well? Does what happened here impact that in some way?

EDDY CARDER: Well, first of all, AG Baxter will go back to work, but he will hit the ground running. It will not be as though nothing happened. And also there's going to be a political onslaught, I would suspect, with regard to those individuals who brought these charges and those Republicans that crossed over on certain of these charges and these votes. And so that's going to play itself out in the political realm with regard to the charges that are pending. AG Paxton's going to be very reluctant to try to find any kind of mediating position or basis for settlement with regard to those issues. He's going to try to see things through to the end and establish even further his innocence with regard to those criminal charges.

JOHN KRINJAK: All right. Boy, a lot of impacts from what we saw here today. Dr. Eddie Carder, a law professor from Prairie View A&M. Dr. Carter, thank you, as always, for your insight, your perspective. We appreciate it.

EDDY CARDER: Thank you very much. It's always a privilege and a joy.