Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s journey through the state’s judicial system has taken another interesting turn.
The 5th Court of Appeals, based in Dallas, has rejected Paxton’s request that the securities fraud case against him be tossed out. According to the appellate court, the case should go to trial and Paxton should have to make the state prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he broke securities law by failing to properly report income he received while providing financial advice to clients.
Paxton has pleaded not guilty to the charges brought by — get this — a Collin County grand jury, which happens to be in Paxton’s home county.
This case ought to be settled by a trial court.
What’s next? Paxton’s legal team is considering whether to take it to the state’s highest criminal appellate court, the Court of Criminal Appeals. The special prosecutor’s office assigned to this case said it is confident the CCA will uphold the lower court ruling against the AG.
I understand fully that Paxton is “innocent until proven guilty.” He has tried all along the way to get the case thrown out. The courts have ruled repeatedly against him, saying the charges against him have merit.
Will the Republican AG prevail if he takes it to the all-GOP Court of Criminal Appeals? That might be his best shot at getting it thrown out.
The Texas Tribune reported: “During a hearing before the court last month, Paxton’s lawyers most prominently argued that the grand jury that indicted him was improperly selected. The court rejected that argument in its ruling Wednesday.
“‘After reviewing the record and, in particular, the process used by the district judge, we conclude the complained-of method of selecting the grand jury is not a complaint that would render the grand jury illegally formed,’ Chief Justice Carolyn Wright wrote.”
The way I look at it, if he’s innocent of the charges brought against him by the grand jury — and by the complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission — then he ought to make the case in court.
Make the state prove its case and let a jury of his peers decide.