Suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton will be in a Houston courtroom on Thursday for a hearing about the securities fraud charges he was indicted for eight years ago.
Paxton has a very busy legal schedule as a defendant over the next two months. In September, he faces impeachment proceedings in the Texas Senate for misuse of office. A bipartisan group of Texas Representatives impeached Paxton earlier this year. Paxton has claimed the impeachment is politically motivated by House Speaker Dade Phelan. Paxton was impeached on 20 charges, and if convicted would be only the third Texas official in state history to be removed.
He is currently suspended without pay from his office pending the outcome of the trial.
This is completely separate from the legal drama surrounding Paxton for most of the last decade. He was indicted for failing to register as a securities adviser, failing to disclose conflicts of interest, and defrauding a Dallas-based tech startup.
Paxton’s day in court has been delayed by arguments over the pay of the special prosecutor as well as location. The suspended attorney general wanted to have the trial in his home of Collin County. That was ultimately denied, and now he will face a Houston judge.
The judge in question is Democrat Andrea Beall. This is her first year in office. Previously, she was District Court Chief in Child Fatality for Harris County, specializing in murder cases involving minors.
It is unknown what the outcome of the hearing will be. It’s possible that Bealle will finally set the trial date for Paxton on the matter. With Paxton currently out of the attorney general’s office, his ability to slow-walk proceedings is likely hampered.
Despite Paxton’s legal woes, he was handily re-elected to the attorney general’s office in 2022. Much of his public response against his impeachment has used that fact. He claims that the legal proceedings are meant to overturn the will of the people. Paxton’s primary opponents for the Republican nomination, including Land Commissioner George P. Bush, focused on his myriad of indictments, accusations, and investigations.
Even this is not the end of the legal entanglements of the state’s top cop. Paxton remains under federal investigation for misuse of office. His long-time friend and donor, Austin real estate mogul Nate Paul, was arrested by federal agents earlier this year. Paxton is accused of interfering with investigations on Paul’s behalf as well as accepting clandestine gifts. Paul allegedly paid for renovations on Paxton’s house.
Meanwhile, Paxton continues to fundraise off the legal circus. That might land him in even more trouble. Paxton is under a gag order in the impeachment trial, but recently sent out a mass fundraising email using language that Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, who will oversee the trial, has condemned.
Paxton has not released a statement regarding his Thursday court appearance as of time of this publication.