AUSTIN, Texas — State Sen. Robert Nichols, who represents several counties in East Texas, said he voted to impeach Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton based on "credible testimony" and "thousands of pages of evidence" that he heard during the trial.
On Saturday, Paxton was acquitted on all 16 articles of impeachment following a lengthy trial in the Texas Senate. Nichols was one of two senators who voted in favor of impeaching Paxton.
Nichols, of Jacksonville, voted yay on 13 of the 16 presented articles. At the end of Saturday's trial, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who served as the judge, reinstalled Paxton to his role as an attorney general.
In a statement released Monday, Nichols said the testimony and evidence from many of Paxton's top staff and the totality of the other evidence presented by the House Board of Managers proved to him "beyond a reasonable doubt" that Paxton's actions violated Texas law and his oath of office.
"The oath I swore, to render a true verdict based on the evidence presented, did not leave room for politics or second guessing. I have – and always will – vote for what I believe is right," Nichols said.
Those who testified in the trial included First Assistant Attorney General Jeff Mateer, Deputy First Assistant AG Ryan Bangert, Deputy AG for Legal Counsel Ryan Vassar, Director of Law Enforcement Texas Ranger David Maxwell, Deputy AG for Criminal Justice Mark Penley, Deputy AG for Civil Litigation Darren McCarty and Deputy AG for Policy and Strategic Initiatives Blake Brickman.
"I believe these individuals displayed tremendous courage by reporting what they witnessed as violations of law," the statement read.
Nichols said copies of evidence and testimony can be found at senate.texas.gov/coi.
Nichols was first elected to the Texas Senate in 2006, and he represents 18 counties, including parts of East Texas, South East Texas and Jefferson County.