TEXAS, USA — A Republican-led investigative committee on Thursday unanimously recommended Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton be impeached, citing years of alleged misconduct.
According to the Associated Press, the state House of Representatives could vote on the recommendation as soon as Friday.
Impeachment requires a two-thirds vote of the state's 150-member House chamber, where Republicans hold a commanding 85-64 majority.
If the House impeaches Paxton, he would be forced to leave office immediately until a trial is held in the Senate. It's important to note that no person can be convicted by the state Senate unless two-thirds of state Senators are physically present.
As for when everything happens, according to political expert Bob Stein and the Texas Constitution, House speaker Dade Phelan can call the full House back at any time before the session is over on Monday. If it doesn't happen by Monday, Gov. Abbott would have to call a special session on the impeachment effort.
The House and Senate could also call themselves back, according to Mark Jones, Ph.D, with the Baker Institute at Rice University.
"The Articles of Impeachment could, in theory, come before the House as early as Friday or Saturday," he said. "However, the last day they can be voted on would be Sunday. That said, the one time that both the House and the Senate can call themselves into special session is on issues of impeachment. So the House can quite easily, if it wants to, call a session from Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday, and effectively review debate and vote on the Articles of Impeachment."
Full interview Jones did with KHOU 11 executive producer Wiley Post
According to Jones, the only surprise is the timing.
"None of the allegations that are surprises at all. The fact that they're moving for impeachment, and they're doing so in the waning days of the legislative session are somewhat of a surprise," Jones said. "I think it's part timing by the House. And it's also what's interesting about all this is it's not clear what the House is endgame is, until we know what Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Governor Greg Abbott thing, because if the lieutenant governor is not supportive of impeachment, then Paxton will be exonerated if it makes it to the Senate. It's only I think if the lieutenant governor comes down on the side of those who want to impeach the attorney general, that there may be a prospect of Paxton actually being impeached from office."
Only two other officials in Texas’ nearly 200-year history have been impeached -- Gov. James Ferguson in 1917 and state Judge O.P. Carrillo in 1975.
Below is the Texas government code on impeachment.