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Paxton Will Face Trial On April After A Judge Rejected His Attempts To Dismiss The Case

Attorney General Ken Paxton will face a trial in his nearly 9-year-old security case after a Harris County judge rejected his attempts to have the case dismissed.

During a court hearing Friday in Houston, Harris County District Court Judge Andrea Beall denied Paxton’s attempts to dismiss the charges, he argued that his right to a speedy trial had been violated.

Now, Paxton’s securities fraud trial is expected to continue on April 15.

According to the Texas Tribune, Paxton is accused of encouraging investors to invest in a technology startup in 2011 without disclosing that he had received stock in the company. He is also accused of steering clients to a friend’s investment firm without registering as an adviser with the state. These are two first-degree felony securities fraud charges, each carrying five to 99 years in prison.

The securities fraud charges have haunted Paxton for nearly nine years, but Paxton has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Paxton wanted his charges thrown out, saying his right to a speedy trial had been violated and arguing that prosecutors had delayed the case.

But prosecutors had argued that Paxton himself was responsible for the delayed trial.

“We think that the general’s fingerprints, footprints and DNA were all over the delays,” said special prosecutor Brian Wice, a private criminal defense lawyer brought on to represent the state after the local district attorney recused himself.

The AG’s defense had previously said the state’s inaction had caused Paxton “worry, anxiety, employment and financial difficulties, and frustration.”

But in more than nine years, Paxton has been re-elected AG twice and has gained visibility as one of the most conservative attorneys general in the country. Wice said that in the past nine years, Paxton has amassed more than $6 million in out-of-state real estate and has been “living [his] best life” since being indicted.

But now prosecutors face a new challenge, as Wice’s co-counsel on the indictment, Kent Schaffer, announced that Friday’s appearance would be his last on the case.

Schaffer’s departure comes after a disagreement with Wice. Both Schaffer and Paxton’s defense attorney, Dan Cogdell, had agreed Thursday that Paxton would not face jail time or fines. Instead, he would agree to a period of supervision.

“No one expects him to go to prison,” Schaffer said. “At worst, he gets probation.”

Wice said it was unconscionable for Paxton to avoid a trial.

“To me, that was worse than a slap on the wrist. That was, ‘gee, let’s get you a cocktail, a hot meal and a breath mint.’ And that wasn’t going to happen on my watch,” he said.

Schaffer was replaced with Houston-based attorney Jed Silverman.

Paxton is also facing a whistleblower lawsuit, and is being sued for his role in challenging the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Staff
Staff
Written by RA News staff.

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