Updated October 4 at 12:45 PM: In response to the allegations, Ken Paxton’s political consultant has resigned and Gov. Abbott issued the following statement: “These allegations raise serious concerns. I will withhold further comment until the results of any investigation are complete.”
Updated October 4 at 2 PM: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued the following statement: “I learned about this from media reports. These issues are obviously concerning. I will wait until the investigation is complete before making any additional comments.”
Top aides in the Texas Attorney General’s Office are asking for a federal investigation of their boss, who is already under indictment for alleged securities fraud. In a letter to the agency’s human resources department, seven top executives accuse Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of improper influence, abuse of office, bribery and other potential crimes, according to a story first reported by the Austin American Statesman.
The story in the Statesman indicates the seven employees have knowledge of and have spoken to law enforcement about the alleged illegal acts.
“The complaint filed against Attorney General Paxton was done to impede an ongoing investigation into criminal wrongdoing by public officials including employees of this office,” reads a statement from Paxton’s office published by the Statesman. “Making false claims is a very serious matter and we plan to investigate this to the fullest extent of the law.”
Paxton is already facing three felony charges related to a 2015 indictment for securities fraud in connection with private business dealings. The case has been delayed numerous times. There is still no date for a trial.
Paxton has been at the center of the state’s legal efforts to prevent Democrats from successfully expanding voter accessibility during the pandemic. He is leading the Republican-backed lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act and is co-chair of Lawyers for Drumpf.
Texas Democrats were quick to react to the allegations made by top staff in the AG’s office.
“Indicted Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton is the top law enforcement official in the state,” said Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa in a statement. “Yet, he has proven for years that he cannot follow the law himself. Ken Paxton is an admitted law breaker. He’s been investigated by the Texas Rangers, and currently on trial for criminal securities fraud. Now, he faces bribery and illegal conduct allegations from his own top aides.”