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Paxton Under Fire: Federal Probe Confirmed? 

A federal appeals court has confirmed that Attorney General Ken Paxton and his office are still under investigation by federal authorities, as reported by The Dallas Morning News.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order rejecting an unnamed state agency’s attempt to stop a grand jury investigation into allegations of misconduct by senior agency officials. This order seems to reference a sealed federal court document that was included as evidence in Paxton’s 2023 impeachment trial.

According to The Houston Chronicle, while the case is under seal and does not name the agency in question, the dates and details line up with those in the yearslong federal probe into allegations by Paxton’s former top deputies, who say the attorney general took bribes to benefit Nate Paul, an Austin developer who is a friend and donor of Paxton’s.

The federal appeals panel also upheld a lower court ruling that prevents a Texas state agency from using attorney-client privilege to withhold information from the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stated that agency officials might possess evidence of potential criminal activity that they are concealing under the guise of attorney-client privilege. The DOJ can invoke the “crime-fraud exception” to bypass this privilege, which applies when the attorney-client relationship is used to further criminal or fraudulent activities.

“Based on the record before us … it is plain that the crime-fraud exception to the privilege is implicated,” the court wrote, as first reported by The Houston Chronicle. This ruling comes amidst Paxton’s efforts to avoid deposition in a related case before the Texas Supreme Court, where he is accused of retaliatory actions against employees alleging misconduct.

Despite Paxton’s acquittal by the Texas Senate on charges stemming from allegations of using his office to benefit a campaign donor, the 5th Circuit’s ruling alludes to a sealed federal court order cited during Paxton’s impeachment trial. This order pertains to investigations into accusations of obstruction of justice, wire fraud, and witness retaliation linked to Paxton’s dealings with Nate Paul, currently facing federal charges. Paxton maintains his innocence throughout these proceedings.

RA Staff
RA Staff
Written by RA News staff.


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