Category Archives: crime news

Recuse yourself, Sen. Paxton

Of the 31 individuals serving in the Texas Senate, the hottest seat in the place happens to be the one occupied by the spouse of a man about to stand trial for an array of alleged criminal acts.

Sen. Angela Paxton, a McKinney Republican, is married to Attorney General Ken Paxton, whom the House impeached Saturday in a stunningly overwhelming vote of 121-25.

AG Paxton has been accused of bribery, securities fraud, doing political favors for friends, malfeasance, obstruction of justice … and even a charge related to an alleged extramarital affair!

Angela Paxton ought to recuse herself from any vote she would be asked to cast on determining whether her husband stays in office.

My reasoning is a bit complicated, but I’ll try to explain.

Two-thirds of Texas senators need to vote to convict the AG. Republicans occupy 19 seats; Democrats sit in 12 of them. Paxton’s recusal gives the GOP an 18-12 majority, meaning that just eight Republicans need to cast votes to convict Paxton for him to be shown the door and thus, be barred from ever holding another public office.

Here’s where it gets mighty complicated. Ken Paxton is, in effect, a criminal defendant. How does he go home to his wife every day and not talk about how his day is going? How does he avoid talking about the case presented by the House impeachment managers? How does he, thus, avoid talking to a potential juror who will decide his political fate?

That would be, um, jury tampering … yes?

My thought? It’s too big a temptation to avoid. Therefore, Sen. Paxton needs to pull herself out of the jury pool and let her colleagues make this decision.

We witnessed a stunning bit of theater this weekend in Austin. Republicans in the Legislature have led the charge to bring impeachment proceedings forward. The House’s shattering vote to impeach the attorney general gives me reason to believe the Senate is capable of following suit.

Sen. Paxton’s recusal would lower the Senate bar just a bit, but it would be enough to give AG Paxton reason to sweat bullets.

The old Chinese proverb has never been truer … that we truly are “living in interesting times.”

Check these out

Holy smokes, man! I have not a single to add to the link I am going to send along on this blog post.

It contains all 20 articles of impeachment being considered in the Texas House of Representatives against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Take your time, if you have it, and read these counts carefully.

They will, um, blow … your … mind.

Here are the 20 articles of impeachment filed against Ken Paxton | The Texas Tribune

Reckoning arrives for Texas GOP

A moment of profound reckoning has just fallen out of the sky and landed squarely in the laps of Texas’s Republican legislators as they now must deal with whether to impeach a member of their party who happens to be the state’s attorney general.

Ken Paxton has been recommended for impeachment by the House General Investigations Committee, which has three Republicans and two Democrats serving. The panel voted unanimously to recommend that Paxton be impeached on allegations of egregious misconduct within his office.

This is, to borrow a phrase, a “big … deal.” You know?

Paxton has been operating under suspicious cloud cover ever since he took office in 2015. A Collin County grand jury indicted him for securities fraud that year. Then some whistleblowing lawyers in the AG’s office quit, citing allegations of bribery and mishandling of cases involving political donors.

Then Paxton settled with the lawyers and was ordered to pay $3.3 million. Only he wants taxpayers to foot the bill. That drew immediate push back from House Speaker Dade Phelan, a Republican from Beaumont, who said Texas taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for Paxton’s settlement.

Then Paxton fired back, saying Phelan should resign, accusing the speaker of being drunk on the job.

The intraparty conflict has exploded into a full-blown firefight.

The task before the House GOP caucus is whether they want to join their 64 Democratic colleagues in impeaching the AG. As the Texas Tribune reports, the GOP caucus has been mostly silent about Paxton’s woes. Until now.

Even some of Paxton’s friends in the House and Senate now are taking a quieter approach to speaking out on this matter.

Republican-led effort to impeach Ken Paxton is a seismic political shift | The Texas Tribune

The ground is shaking and rattling under everyone’s feet in Austin these days. Ken Paxton, to my way of thinking, has shamed his office. No AG can function effectively as the state’s top law enforcer with the suspicion that has dogged Ken Paxton from the get-go.

We have a terrible mess on our hands and to my way of thinking, it is time for the House — and then the Senate — to do its job by impeaching the attorney general and then tossing him out of office with a conviction.

Will he end up in cuffs and leg irons?

When I hear this chatter from a former president’s lawyers that the ex-POTUS could serve time in prison, my thoughts turn immediately to a friend I haven’t seen in more than two decades.

His name is Peter and he lives in Australia. He has been saying ever since the crap hit the fan on the former president that he truly envisions the sight of the former president being hauled away in handcuffs and leg irons.

That he committed such egregious crimes as president and as an immediate past president that the feds will have no choice but to indict him, put him on trial and then, if convicted, haul his overfed backside off to the slammer.

Peter and I communicate often, discussing the affairs of our respective governments. I concede openly that he is more dialed in to what’s happening here than I am with what is occurring in Canberra. Indeed, the stakes involving the former president would send shock waves worldwide if he is convicted of felonies.

For us, the notion of sending an ex-POTUS to prison is all but anathema. For those around the world, in other democratic nations, it’s happened already.

France has imprisoned a former president; so has Peru. Other leaders of less-free governments have faced criminal charges and have served time as well.

Such a thing would be unfathomable — in many Americans’ eyes — if the criminal defendant is a former president of the United States.

Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a hard-nosed seasoned prosecutor to take over the twin probes involving Donald Trump’s role in the 1/6 assault on our government and the squirreling away of classified documents he took from the White House as he was preparing to leave office.

The smart money seems to suggest that the special counsel, Jack Smith, has wrapped up his documents investigation. He is going to indict the ex-president soon on serious federal charges that could — if he’s convicted — put the ex-POTUS behind bars possibly for the rest of his life. I mean, he is 76 years of age.

What’s more, none of this involves the state prosecutors’ investigations into his trying to overturn election results in Georgia and his indictment on charges that he misspent campaign funds to keep a porn star quiet about a fling she alleges the two of them had in 2006.

I hope my friend reads this blog. So, to him I want to say: It looks more possible than ever that your wish well could come true.

See ya in the slammer, Stewart Rhodes

Stewart Rhodes, the North Texan who helped mastermind the 1/6 insurrection, is now going to get to spend 18 years in federal prison.

How many ways can I say I applaud the sentence that came from the federal judge?

Rhodes remains defiant, of course! He calls himself a “political prisoner” even though a jury convicted him of seditious conspiracy. Let us look at what sedition entails.

It is to “incite rebellion” against the government. Which is what occurred on 1/6. Rhodes, a one-time lawyer, is the founder of the Oath Keepers organization, a right-wing mob of goons who believe that Donald Trump should have remained president even though he lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden.

The Oath Keepers, led by Rhodes, sought to engineer a coup on 1/6. They failed.

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes gets 18 years for Jan. 6 seditious conspiracy – POLITICO

Eighteen years in the slammer is a long time. My fond hope is that Rhodes serves every damn bit of it. Rhodes is the latest 1/6 ringleader to be held accountable for his disgraceful behavior on that day.

I’ll leave it to the presiding judge to put a cap on this commentary: “You, sir, present an ongoing threat and a peril to this country, to the republic and to the very fabric of our democracy,” said U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta, who described Rhodes as a uniquely powerful threat to democracy on 1/6. “You are smart, you are compelling, and you are charismatic. Frankly, that is what makes you dangerous.”

Lock him up!

‘Something has to change’

Brett Baier, one of the propagandists who works for the Fox Propaganda Network, said this week, “Something has to change dramatically. There may be events that we don’t know. There may be other legal challenges that he faces” in order for Ron DeSantis to secure the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

OK, here’s a dramatic change for you to ponder. GOP voters have to come to their senses if they have any hope at all for their party to defeat President Biden next year.

By that I mean the Republican core of fanatics must abandon any thought of nominating a twice-impeached, indicted former POTUS for another go-round that is assuredly going to end in defeat for him and for what once was known as the Republican Party.

On second thought, if GOP primary voters are stupid enough to hang with Donald John Trump, they will deserve the shellacking they are going to get come Election Day.

And, yes, Trump is going to face “other legal challenges” along the way. You are welcome to take that straight to the bank. It’s gonna happen.

GOP goes after the FBI?

Can this really be happening, that a once-great political party that spoke to the virtues of a strong system of law and order now wants to dismantle the FBI?

Yep. It is happening in real time. Frankly, it astounds me beyond my ability to comprehend.

I have a theory as to why it is occurring. Here goes.

The FBI became the Republican Party’s go-to federal agency when it was investigating anti-Vietnam War protesters, Black activist organizations, those who opposed big business.

These days? The FBI has been active investigating alleged criminal activity among prominent GOP politicians, starting with Donald John Trump. Now we hear yammering from the MAGA crowd and other right-wingers about how the FBI is “weaponizing” law enforcement.

These same GOP pols also are on the record opposing congressional resolutions honoring police and other first responders who acted heroically to — and this is truly astonishing — save the lives of the very politicians on 1/6 who now oppose honoring them!

What the hell is wrong with this picture?

How can it be that the political parties’ roles are so dramatically reversed? Republicans once chided Democrats for being “soft on crime,” for wanting to weaken our law enforcement agencies. These days we hear Democrats beating their chests as champions of democracy and strong police while needling Republicans as belonging to the party that favors foreign autocrats and seeking to disband nation’s premier federal law enforcement agency.

All of this provides one more example of how the principles that govern political policy have changed in such dramatic fashion. So help me, my head is spinning.

Shut up … Elon!

Elon Musk needs to stick to making lots of money, manufacturing cars, shooting rockets into space and whatever else he’s “expert” at doing.

For the zillionaire to suggest that allegations that the Allen Premium Outlet Mall shooter was not motivated by white supremacist attitudes means he is getting way ahead of himself and the investigation.

Musk refers to a website that “no one follows” that is being offered as evidence of these views. He calls it “bullsh**.”

I must mention the Nazi tattoos they found on the moron’s body after the Allen police officer shot him to death. I agree that the probe is ongoing. To say it’s all BS, though, is to draw conclusions that no one is able yet to draw.

I would bet real American money that when all is done the authorities are going to find nefarious motives — such as white supremacy — as lurking behind the madman’s motives.

DOJ calls it quits on Hunter Biden

Well now, the U.S. Department of Justice has sent its investigative team — the one working on whether to charge Hunter Biden with a crime — home.

Something tells me the DOJ has decided what many of us have believed all along, that Republican questions about the president’s son have produced a serious nothing burger.

Shades of Benghazi, it looks for all the world to me.

You’ll recall that the GOP congressional caucus looked high and low for something on which to charge then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the wake of the terrorist raid on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. It was a tragic event, to be sure. The GOP found nothing it could hang on Clinton or her diplomatic team.

Now comes this baloney involving Hunter Biden. He made a lot of money working for a Ukrainian oil company. That’s a crime? Hardly!

I don’t expect the GOP hounds to be called off. They’ll keep looking. I mean, we have an election coming up and President Biden’s foes need all the dirt they can find to sully the president’s re-election effort.

Trump: accountable

I have been trying to process the guilty verdict handed down in that trial involving E. Jeanne Carroll and Donald J. Trump.

Carroll had sued Trump alleging he raped her in the 1990s. She didn’t get the rape conviction she sought, but she got damn near everything else.

So, with a jury deciding in less than four hours after an eight-day trial, we now can call Trump a sexual abuser and a slanderer. He sexually abused Carroll and defamed her character.

The jury decided Carroll should get $5 million in damages.

Trump said he plans to appeal. Here’s the best part: Trump is accusing the presiding judge of being a “Trump hater.”

Hmm. Well, consider this: The judge gave Trump every opportunity to change his mind and testify in his own defense. He didn’t.

The judge went far beyond what is normal by giving Trump ample avenues to defend himself. That isn’t the action of a “Trump hater.”

I am glad for Carroll. She didn’t deserve to be treated in a defamatory manner by Donald Trump. And Trump doesn’t deserve to be considered the frontrunner for the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nomination.

But if the GOP is going to nominate a twice-impeached, once-indicted (for now) and convicted sexual abuser for president, then the party is in far worse condition than any of us ever imagined.