Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton will not testify in his upcoming impeachment trial, which could result in the Republican's permanent removal from office, according to his legal team.
In a lengthy statement released Monday night, Paxton's lead attorney criticized the proceedings that led the Republican-controlled Texas House of Representatives to impeach the top representative of the state's main police force in May.
The trial in the Texas Senate is scheduled to begin on September 5.
"They were given the opportunity to have Attorney General Paxton testify during their mock investigation, but they refused to do so," attorney Tony Buzbee said in a statement. “We will not give in to this malign, illegal and unprecedented weaponization of state power in the Senate chamber,” he added.
A spokesman for the state House leaders handling the impeachment trial did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment Tuesday.
Paxton, a Republican, is temporarily suspended from office pending the outcome of his trial on 20 articles of impeachment that include charges of bribery and abuse of office.
In a separate case, the FBI is investigating Paxton on allegations that he used his power to help a donor. That donor was indicted in federal court in Austin last month on charges of making false statements to banks.
Paxton is also awaiting trial on securities fraud charges dating back to 2015. He has pleaded not guilty and has never testified in the eight years of the case, according to lawmakers seeking to impeach him.