Tag Archives: Texas AG

AG goes back to work … but how?

Well, I guess Ken Paxton goes back to work as the chief law enforcement officer in Texas.

But how in the world does he do that, given all he has been through and all the negative exposure his conduct has brought to the state?

The Texas Senate acquitted Paxton on 16 charges brought against him by the overwhelming House decision to impeach him. Fourteen senators voted to convict, with 16 voting to acquit; only two Republican senators crossed over to convict Paxton. Paxton’s impeachment forced the state to suspend him from his job.

The AG remains heavily damaged goods, no matter the outcome of this unprecedented Senate impeachment trial. He still faces state charges of securities fraud and will stand trial — eventually, I suppose — for those alleged crimes, which were delivered in 2015 by an indictment handed down by a Collin County grand jury.

Has he done anything to mend the damaged fence between the parties? Here is what the Texas Tribune reported: “The sham impeachment coordinated by the Biden Administration with liberal House Speaker Dade Phelan and his kangaroo court has cost taxpayers millions of dollars, disrupted the work of the Office of Attorney General and left a dark and permanent stain on the Texas House,” Paxton said in a statement. “The weaponization of the impeachment process to settle political differences is not only wrong, it is immoral and corrupt.”

There are no heroes to be found in this proceeding. I would congratulate the attorney general, except that his presence on the state payroll sickens me. He personifies the type of so-called Republican who is more loyal to a man — Donald J. Trump — than he is to the constitutions of the nation and the state.

Several of Paxton’s key legal assistant AGs quit after blowing the whistle that brought about the impeachment articles. Make no mistake, either, of the fact that many Texans disagree with the findings of the Senate, that they believe — as I do — that Paxton is unfit to hold the office of attorney general.

That is the environment to which Paxton is returning to work.

God help the state that now must repair the damage brought to its reputation by this individual.

Paxton trial about to begin … bring it!

A source I have developed at a major Texas university told me this week — off the record — about what he thinks might happen when Ken Paxton stands trial in the Texas Senate for high crimes and misdemeanors he allegedly committed while serving as Texas attorney general.

My source said it’s a tough call, “but right now I’d say he gets acquitted.” He said the Senate’s partisan makeup, with 18 Republicans and 12 Democrats, likely could save Paxton from being kicked out of office if he is convicted of any of the crimes alleged against him.

“But that could change” once the trial begins,” my friend said.

The Texas House impeached Paxton in an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote; many House Republicans joined their Democratic colleagues in impeaching Paxton based on the unanimous recommendation of the House committee tasked with examining the myriad complaints against Paxton.

The panel ruled that Paxton took a bribe from a key campaign ally and abused the power of his office to conceal an extramarital affair.

The Senate trial begins Tuesday. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presides over the Senate and the trial, imposed a sweeping gag order on senators, a decision I happen to endorse. The bar is set high for conviction, as the Senate needs a two-thirds vote to toss Paxton out of office.

The impeachment managers have brought in some heavy hitters to serve as legal counsel for the prosecution. Paxton’s legal team has asked that all but one of the 30-plus counts in the impeachment articles be dismissed.

I am one Texan who wants the AG tossed out, if only to rid the state of the constant embarrassment this clown brings to the law enforcement office he oversees.

Are there enough Republicans in the Senate who will join their Democratic colleagues in making the same decision, that they are fed up with the conduct of an attorney general who brings shame to the high office he occupies?

Let us hope so.

New charges against Paxton

My peanut gallery perch admittedly doesn’t give me much insight into the nuts and bolts of the case building against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

However, the latest allegations coming forward surely seem to paint an increasingly grim picture of the future that awaits the embattled AG.

Here is a small part of what the Texas Tribune has reported: In new allegations revealed Wednesday, Texas House investigators accused suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton of engaging in a complex cover-up to hide his relationship with real estate investor Nate Paul as senior aides grew increasingly concerned about Paxton’s willingness to use his office to benefit Paul.

Uber account? Cover-up? Extramarital affair? Eek, man!

Ken Paxton worked to hide relationship with Nate Paul, new allegations say | The Texas Tribune

The Texas Senate trial is set to begin Sept. 5. Paxton has been impeached by the Texas House of Representatives in an overwhelming vote. He is suspended from his job as the state’s chief law enforcement officer pending the outcome of the trial.

What fascinates me is that even Paxton’s own fellow Republicans from the district he formerly represented in the House, in Collin County, all voted to impeach him.

I realize senators cannot take this issue into consideration when they deliberate Paxton’s fate, but how in the world does even an acquitted AG return to work with all these marks sullying his reputation, not to mention the office he occupies?

My sense? He cannot return to work … ever! Nor can he expect to deliver any sort of effective decisions in the future.

The Tribune also reports: And once Paxton learned several high-ranking officials in his office reported his behavior to the FBI, the House impeachment managers alleged, he took immediate steps to cover up his relationship with Paul, including wiring a $122,000 payment to a Paul-affiliated company in an effort to hide home renovations that Paul had provided for free.

Hold on, my fellow Texans. This trial is going to be a doozy.

Paxton defense strategy takes shape

Ken Paxton’s defense strategy appears to be taking form, and it appears to have little to do with whether he committed the deeds for which the Texas House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to impeach him.

The Republican Texas attorney general is getting ready to stand trial for a number of allegations sent to the Texas Senate. They involve abuse of office, bribery, obstruction of justice.

Now we have the archconservative group vowing to spend money to get back at those among Republicans who are weary of the right-wing dogma pushed by the state AG.

The Texas Tribune reports: “​The Paxton impeachment could be the most high-profile stumble for the far right of the Texas GOP,” said Brandon Rottinghaus, a University of Houston political science professor. “Paxton was their shining star but now looks more like a shooting star.”

The far-right group called Defend Texas Liberty wants to protect one of their golden boys. Are they saying he’s clean, that he has done nothing wrong? I haven’t heard that.

Ken Paxton’s far-right billionaire backers are fighting hard to save him | The Texas Tribune

I am not able to predict how the Senate will vote at the end of the trial. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has issued a wide-ranging gag order on the Senate that will act as jury in Paxton’s trial. I’m fine with that.

I just have believed for as long as he’s been in office that Paxton is crooked. The House committee that investigated the myriad charges agreed and voted unanimously to recommend impeaching the state’s top law enforcer.

To hear now that right-wing billionaires are encircling the AG to defend him against those within his own Republican Party just sickens me to the max … particularly when no one is making the case for Paxton’s presumed innocence!


Stay quiet, senators

Should the 31 men and women who comprise the Texas Senate reveal to the public how they intend to vote on whether to convict the state’s attorney general of crimes he allegedly committed?

With emphasis, I want to say “no!”

AG Ken Paxton is set to stand trial no later than Aug. 28 on 20 articles of impeachment that the Texas House zoomed through in the final days of the 2023 Legislature.

As the Texas Tribune reports, we can expect a “much different rhythm” in the Legislature’s other chamber.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick leads the Senate and he’s keeping his own thoughts on Paxton’s guilt or innocence to himself, as he should.

“Don’t ask me any more questions because I can’t answer them,” Patrick said during an event with the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “Look at me like a judge before a case and look at our senators like that. Be respectful of their space and time. This is very serious. There are very serious people, and the Senate is going to do our job in a professional way.”

Ken Paxton impeachment moves to Texas Senate, where unknowns await | The Texas Tribune

There you go. The Senate is acting as a jury. The Legislature has hired two legal hot shots — Dick DeGuerin and Rusty Hardin — to lead the prosecution.

I want there to be some suspense prior to the convening of the trial. For senators to blab and blather on their predisposition before they deliver a verdict would be prejudicial and would signal that the fix is in — either way — in what Patrick as described as a “very serious” proceeding.

Let the process move forward.


Step up, GOP lawmakers!

A nagging fear keeps rolling around my noggin concerning today’s expected impeachment vote involving Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

It is that Texas Republican legislators are as cowardly as their national colleagues. That is, they won’t vote to impeach a disgraceful “chief law enforcement officer” who’s been dogged by scandal almost from the day he took office in 2015.

National GOP members of Congress lacked the guts to impeach Donald J. Trump. I fear that same cowardice has afflicted the state’s GOP legislative caucus.

There are signs of hope. Such as the House General Investigations Committee’s unanimous vote to recommend impeachment. The panel, comprising three Republicans and two Democrats, stepped up and did the right thing to call for Paxton’s ouster after hearing from whistleblowers alleging widespread corruption within the AG’s office.

Will their House colleagues follow suit and provide the majority needed to force this guy to step aside while awaiting a trial in the Texas Senate?

Let us hope so.


Paxton calls on speaker to quit? Huh … ?

Wow! That’s all I should have to say on this matter, but of course I’ll add a couple of cents’ worth.

Of all the elected officials serving in this great state of mine, it falls on an indicted Texas attorney general to call for the resignation of the speaker of the Texas House.

What in the world is wrong with this picture?

AG Ken Paxton, who’s been under criminal indictment almost his entire time as the state’s chief law enforcement officer, said this week that Speaker Dade Phelan was drunk while presiding over the House. Paxton said Phelan should resign at the end of the current session of the Legislature.

For the life of me I cannot fathom what in the world is happening to this state.

A Collin County grand jury indicted Paxton in 2015 of securities fraud, stemming from an allegation that he failed to notify investors of his relationship with a securities firm. Eight years later and the case hasn’t gone to trial … yet!

Then we have allegations of corruption within the AG’s office. There has been a settlement on that matter, but several top lawyers in the office resigned after blowing the whistle on what they said were improper relationships between Paxton and a key political supporter and donor.

Paxton is a joke! Actually, he needs to resign his office.

Now he declares that Dade Phelan has been sipping the sauce. A video of Phelan has gone viral, showing him slurring his words a bit while conducting the House’s business.

“After much consideration, it is with profound disappointment that I call on Speaker Dade Phelan to resign at the end of this legislation session,” Paxton said in a statement posted on Twitter. “His conduct has negatively impacted the legislative process and constitutes a failure to live up to his duty to the public.”

Ken Paxton calls on Dade Phelan to resign, citing apparent intoxication | The Texas Tribune

I suppose, of course, that Phelan’s resistance to some of Paxton’s top legislative priorities has nothing to do with the AG’s call for the speaker to resign. Texas’s top Republican officeholders have been squabbling a good bit of late. They can’t agree on some of the priorities being pushed by, say, Paxton, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Gov. Greg Abbott.

Now it has come down to this, with the state’s indicted attorney general offering an armchair medical diagnosis of the House speaker.



When did civil liberties protection become evil?

Democrat Rochelle Garza wants to become Texas’s next attorney general. She is running against a seriously flawed incumbent, Ken Paxton, who already has been re-elected once while running with a felony indictment hanging over his head.

Garza, though, has a curious bit of baggage as she seeks to defeat her Republican opponent. She is a lawyer steeped in the tradition of the American Civil Liberties Union. She fights to protect our civil liberties, you know, those lined out in the Constitution.

She’s also not scarred by the kind of wounds inflicted on Paxton. A Collin County grand jury indicted Paxton in 2015 on an allegation of securities fraud. He hasn’t stood trial yet.

However, in this curious and infuriating political climate, Garza must defend her work as a civil liberties lawyer. It’s a throwback to an earlier campaign, the 1988 presidential election between Vice President George H.W. Bush and Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis.

President Bush vilified Dukakis because of the governor’s belief in the ACLU mission, which is to protect our civil liberties.

I keep wondering: How did ACLU membership and a defense of that legal organization’s mission become a punchline, an epithet, a four-letter word?

It has become all of that.

For my money, I would rather be represented by a legal eagle who isn’t stained by allegations of misconduct. Toss aside political affiliation and ask: Do you want to be represented by an individual who faces possible prison time if his case ever gets adjudicated, or do you want your AG to be someone whose record is clean and clear of any suspicion?

I’ll stick with Rochelle Garza.


Paxton: profile in cowardice

This incident should make me laugh out loud. It should be just another example of a politician proving he’s a chickensh** coward.

But dang! This is serious stuff and it reveals the utter lack of integrity of the man holding the office of Texas attorney general.

AG Ken Paxton, a Republican, was supposed to receive a subpoena related to a lawsuit filed by those who want the state to pay for out-of-state abortions. It came from the federal government, which right there tells me it’s a serious matter.

What did our state’s chief law enforcement officer do? He hid in a room inside his McKinney home, then fled an hour or so later with his wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton, at the wheel of their motor vehicle.

Ken Paxton tried to avoid being served with subpoena, court record says | The Texas Tribune

What an absolute crock of horse manure!

Paxton sent out a Twitter message that said he was concerned for his family’s safety, which he said is why he didn’t respond to the process server. And that makes me go … huh?

The Texas Tribune reports: “It’s clear that the media wants to drum up another controversy involving my work as Attorney General, so they’re attacking me for having the audacity to avoid a stranger lingering outside my home and showing concern about the safety and well-being of my family,” he wrote in a tweet.

The sequence of events appears weird on its face. The process server shows up. He waits around. Paxton is inside the house. Then his wife drives him away.

How many more examples of Paxton’s unfitness for public office does this clown have to exhibit? He has been under felony indictment alleging securities fraud almost since the day he took office in 2015. The Securities and Exchange Commission launched an independent investigation. Several key legal aides quit the AG’s office after alleging misconduct by the attorney general himself. The FBI is examining a whistleblower complaint against the AG.

Now this.

I know this sounds silly, but if Paxton has done nothing wrong, why didn’t he just go to the front door of his home, receive the subpoena and then contest it the way he normally would … through due process?

The guy should have resigned his office long ago.


Another Democratic sleeper emerges

Just as Texas Democrats seem to pin their hopes on Beto O’Rourke breaking the Republican vise-grip on statewide elected office, another Democrat emerges to, um, quite possibly become the one who does the deed.

Rochelle Garza is the Democratic Party nominee for Texas attorney general, the high-profile contest featuring a Republican who, by all rights, should be in jail by now.

Garza is a former lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union — the bogeyman of the right, but in fact the organization dedicated to protecting our Bill of Rights. She is facing Ken Paxton, the GOP incumbent AG who has been under felony indictment almost since he took office in 2015; he is awaiting trial on securities fraud and could spend a hefty amount of time in the slammer if a jury convicts him.

A recent Dallas Morning News/University of Texas-Tyler poll shows Garza surging against Paxton, trailing the AG by two percentage points. Which makes the race a virtual dead heat.

Can this so-called “upstart” defeat the soiled and sullied AG, the guy who saw a lawsuit he filed against states that had seated electors in support of President Biden tossed out because he lacked any standing in the matter? You see, Paxton is a lousy lawyer to boot, in addition to being an alleged crook and a cheat.

A Collin County grand jury indicted Paxton on a charge that he failed to inform securities investors of his connections to an investment company. The case has been kicked around from court to court. By all rights, it should have been adjudicated long ago, but it hasn’t.

Just when many of us thought the key to returning Texas to a two-party-state status rested with Beto O’Rourke’s bid to defeat Gov. Greg Abbott, it well might occur if Rochelle Garza can keep surging and give Ken Paxton a stiff shove out the door.

I am eternally hopeful.