Texas AG Ken Paxton accused of multiple crimes in Republican-led investigation

·2 min read

An investigation led by Texas Republicans accuses state Attorney General Ken Paxton of committing multiple crimes while in office, including several felonies.

In an unusual public airing of the scandal, investigators discussed their findings in a three-hour presentation to the GOP-led House General Investigating Committee on Wednesday. They alleged that Paxton attempted to cover up his affair, illegally used his position to benefit a donor, and avoided protocols “grossly outside” the acceptable norms.

Investigators also claimed there was evidence of Paxton repeatedly breaking the law during his time as attorney general, including misusing official information and using his office for retaliation.

The claims presented at the Texas Capitol mark a new indictment on Paxton’s track record, as an ongoing FBI investigation continues to probe into his dealings. Paxton was previously indicted in 2015 on securities fraud charges, but he still has not stood trial for the charges seven years later.

The latest investigation also signifies a surprising rebuke from Republicans, who had long maintained a positive relationship with Paxton. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott even lauded Paxton back in January, while swearing him in for his third term.

Wednesday’s hearing concluded without any actionable decisions from the committee, despite the alarming findings. Republican state Rep. Andrew Murr led the panel and declined to comment afterwards regarding next steps or whether the committee planned to impeach or censure Paxton.

For now, Paxton seems to be holding his ground. He called the testimony “false” on Wednesday and attacked Republican House Speaker Dade Phelan.

“It is not surprising that a committee appointed by liberal Speaker Dade Phelan would seek to disenfranchise Texas voters and sabotage my work as Attorney General,” Paxton wrote in a statement.

Among the new findings shared Wednesday, were specifics of Paxton’s expensive home renovation, which had come under FBI scrutiny in 2021, as well as the timeline of his affair and how it may have impacted his position.

In 2020, former staff members reported Paxton for breaking the law to help one of his campaign donors. It also turned out the woman with whom Paxton admitted to having an extramarital affair was an employee of the donor.

With News Wire Services