Suspended Texas A.G. Paxton to appear in court amid securities fraud case

August 2, 2023

Suspended Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) was set to appear in court in Harris County Thursday on charges of securities fraud. 

Paxton was initially indicted in the case back in 2015. In June, a judge ruled that the trial be moved to Houston from his hometown near Dallas, a victory for the prosecution. If convicted of the felony securities fraud charges, Paxton faces up to 99 years in prison.

The trial comes as Paxton was suspended following an impeachment by the GOP-led Texas state House in May. 

The articles of impeachment included bribery, unfitness for office, disregard of official duty and abuse of public trust. He is accused of using his office to assist a donor. Real estate execute Nate Paul was arrested and booked in June in Austin on an undisclosed felony charge.

Paxton’s wife, Angela Paxton, is a state senator. The GOP-controlled state Senate has barred her from from voting in the impeachment trial of her husband, which is scheduled to begin on September 5.

Even with the state Senate forcing her recusal last month, the suspended Attorney General still has numerous allies among the remaining 30 Senators who will vote on whether to convict him. 

For example, the state Senate is led by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a Republican who, like Paxton, closely links himself with former President Trump. The pair have driven a right-wing policy push for the last decade. 

However, Patrick has insisted, “The citizens of Texas can count on the Senate of Texas to have a fair and just trial.” 

Only twice before in Texas’ history has its state House impeached a sitting official: Gov. James Ferguson (D) in 1917 and state Judge O.P. Carrillo in 1975.

PHOTO: Ken Paxton in 2021

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