Big news out of Texas. The Houston Chronicle is reporting that AG Ken Paxton may actually be in pretty big trouble for a litany of impeachable offenses. A Texas House committee reportedly heard NEW testimony from lawyers investigating him that appeared to provide evidence that he provided a friend with confidential FBI documents in an “effort to help him retaliate against business competitors and federal officials.” There is also a whistleblower suit that accuses Paxton of retaliatorily firing four top aides after they reported the alleged misconduct to federal authorities.
The FBI is reportedly looking into these claims, but the testimony provided even more evidence into all the ways that Paxton used and abused his office to help a friend, Nate Paul. In an unusual turn of events this same man – Nate Paul, donated $25,000 to Paxton’s reelection campaign. WHAT A FUNNY COINCIDENCE.
We are entering the last few days of the legislative session and tensions are reportedly quite high between AG Paxton and House Republican leaders. Just a few days ago, Paxton called for House Speaker Dade Phelan to resign after he appeared to preside of the House while drunk or under the influence of a substance. Phelan has refused to step down as of this reporting.
Paxton continues to face felony securities fraud charges that have been stalled for nearly EIGHT YEARS, for some reason. He has denied all wrong doing in that case as well.
The House investigators have extensive experience in “public integrity law and white collar crime” have “reviewed hundreds of pages of documents, including emails, contracts and criminal complaints, and interviewed 15 people. All but one stated they had “grave concerns” regarding Paxton showing hostility or retaliation toward them for their participation”
There are a lot more allegations mentioned in the article – including a very serious violation of the state’s open records law to “help Paul obtain information about the FBI’s investigation into him and a raid it had executed against his home and business office”. The open records law has a “clear exception” for law enforcement matters, which means Paul should not have had access to them. Paxton reportedly IGNORED that exception and “obtained his own copy of the documents and directed an aide to hand-deliver a manila envelope to Paul at his business.”
There was also information provided about an attorney being hired to work in Paxton’s office to “help Paxton investigate the federal officials looking into Paul” This would have been a conflict of interest.
It appears there are multiple threads of criminality going on and they all lead back to one person – Ken Paxton. Texas is generally reluctant to hold Republicans accountable, so it is hard to know if this investigation will actually lead anywhere. Regardless, it is pretty explosive and hopefully the old adage is true: The wheels of justice turn slowly, but grind exceedingly fine.