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In the wake of his impeachment acquittal, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton floated a potential primary challenge against Republican Sen. John Cornyn, who is up for re-election in 2026.
“To me, he’s been in Washington too long. He’s been there, what, for 14 years or so? And I can’t think of a single thing he’s accomplished for our state or even for the country,” Paxton said in an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Wednesday.
Asked whether he would run, Paxton said “everything’s on the table for me.”
“I think it’s time somebody needs to step up and run against this guy that will do the job and do it the right way and represent us and worry about what’s going on,” he said.
Cornyn’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Paxton also hit at the Biden administration over his impeachment and trial, alleging without evidence that it was behind the unsuccessful effort to remove him from office.
“So you think that the effort to remove you from office really came from the Biden administration?” Carlson asked.
“I really do,” Paxton said, adding he thinks the administration “instigated” efforts to impeach him.
Paxton pointed to a lawsuit he filed that sought to invalidate Joe Biden’s election victory in four battleground states as well as other lawsuits he filed against the Biden administration’s policies.
“We were a huge problem for the Biden administration, and that was a way to get me out of the way,” Paxton said.
Paxton last week was acquitted on 16 impeachment articles by the Texas Senate over allegations of corruption. The Republican-controlled Texas House of Representatives in May voted to impeach him by an overwhelming margin over allegations that he accepted bribes from campaign donor and developer Nate Paul. He was also accused of improperly firing employees who reported his actions to federal authorities and misusing government funds to dispute their allegations.
Paxton pleaded not guilty earlier this month to the articles of impeachment against him, which included allegations of corruption, abuse of public trust and misuse of public funds.
Tensions between Cornyn and Paxton have spilled out into the open in recent years amid the attorney general’s legal woes. During Paxton’s re-election campaign last year, Cornyn, who previously served as Texas attorney general, slammed his scandals as an “embarrassment,” according to the Texas Tribune. Cornyn doubled down on his criticisms of Paxton during his impeachment trial, telling reporters this month that the allegations of Paxton’s actions are “deeply disturbing.”
Before he was acquitted, Paxton’s allies vowed retribution against Republicans who voted to impeach him, while former President Donald Trump voiced support for Paxton.