State Sen. Angela Paxton, the wife of embattled Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, will no longer be allowed to vote in her husband’s upcoming impeachment proceedings as a result of new rules the state Senate approved Wednesday night.
The Dallas-area Republican state senator had previously vowed to “carry out (her) duties” and not recuse herself from voting in her husband’s upcoming impeachment trial.
But following delays and closed-door negotiations, the state Senate adopted new rules ahead of Ken Paxton’s September 5 impeachment trial, which now include barring the spouses of members who are the subject of impeachment proceedings from voting.
“A member of the court who is the spouse of a party to the court of impeachment is considered to have a conflict pursuant to… the Texas Constitution,” the resolution states. While the rules do allow Sen. Paxton to be present at the impeachment trial, the new rule states that, “such member of the court shall not be eligible to vote on any matter, motion, or question, or participate in closed sessions or deliberations.”
The rules were passed by a vote of 25-3. There was no public debate prior to the vote, and the names of the senators who voted against the resolution were not immediately available.
Angela Paxton said in a statement Thursday that she had voted against the impeachment rules. “These same rules prohibit me from saying more about the proceedings,” she said, stressing that she will still strive to be a voice for her district.
Tony Buzbee, an attorney representing Ken Paxton, called the impeachment trial a “sham” in a statement Thursday after the Texas Senate announced the impeachment trial rules.
“Now that the Senate has adopted the rules, we look forward to proving every count of this sham impeachment is baseless,” Buzbee said.
Rusty Hardin and Dick DeGuerin, the attorneys chosen to prosecute the impeachment trial, said in a statement Thursday that the rules will provide “a fair trial for both sides.”
Despite the lack of a unanimous vote, Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, serving as president of the Senate as the vote was taken, said he considered the Republican-controlled chamber to be “united” in other ways. “You’re united to take an oath so that justice prevails, that everyone will do their job to the utmost fairness,” said Patrick.
In a separate resolution, the Texas Senate demanded Paxton appear in-person to answer the impeachment charges.
Ken Paxton was impeached by the Texas House of Representatives last month for alleged misconduct, including allegations that he used his office to favor the interests of a prominent donor. He has denied the allegations. Under the Texas Constitution, Paxton is suspended from office while the matter is pending but would be reinstated if acquitted by the Senate.
CNN previously reported that he is also facing an FBI investigation for abuse of office and that Justice Department prosecutors in Washington, DC, took over a corruption investigation into Paxton. He is also under indictment for securities fraud in a separate, unrelated case. Paxton has denied all charges and allegations.
CLARIFICATION: This story has been updated to more accurately explain the new rule that affects the possible involvement of a spouse of a subject of an impeachment trial. The story also has been updated with additional reaction.
CNN’s Ashley Killough, Sara Smart. Eric Bradner, Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt contributed to this report.