Both the prosecution and defense have rested their case in the Senate’s impeachment trial of Attorney General Ken Paxton, signaling a coming conclusion to the procedure which has lasted for eight days. 

On Wednesday night, Rusty Hardin—a lawyer for the prosecution—accidentally rested the House case early after interviewing a witness. 

Thursday’s defense presentation was focused on several current employees of the Office of the Attorney General who provided perspective on the impeachment charges levied against Paxton. Austin Kinghorn, the associate deputy attorney general for legal counsel that replaced “whistleblower” Ryan Vassar, refuted claims that the office put together a “sham investigation” after a group of former employees went to the FBI and accused Ken Paxton of illegal activity. 

Kinghorn, who read the report multiple times, said he saw nothing wrong with it. He said would have reported his concerns if he had. Grant Dorfman, the deputy first assistant attor­ney general, echoed that same sentiment.

At approximately 6 p.m., Tony Buzbee—a defense lawyer for Paxton—rested the defense.

Though rules agreed to by the Senate allowed both sides up to an hour to rebut evidence, they will instead move on to their closing statements. 

Both sides will be given one hour to present closing arguments when the Senate reconvenes at 9 a.m. on Friday. Senators will then be given the opportunity to deliberate before making their decision. The prosecution needs 21 senators, or a two-thirds majority, to remove Paxton from office.

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens