Texas Attorney General Paxton blames Biden Justice Department for probe begun under Trump

370

A federal investigation into allegations that Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton abused his powers began in 2020.

Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton accused the Biden Department of Justice of political persecution over an investigation into allegations that Paxton abused his powers in office.

However, the FBI investigation of Paxton, who is running for a third term as the state's attorney general against Democratic civil rights lawyer Rochelle Garza, began in November 2020, when Donald Trump was still in office and when Trump appointees ran the bureau.

"My life will be spent being investigated by the federal government. That is a fact," Paxton said in a September appearance on right-wing personality Charlie Kirk's podcast. "Trying to find some way to do what they're doing to Steve Bannon, what they're doing to Donald Trump. That is what happens today. If you dare to speak out against the FBI or Department of Justice, they do come after you."

In February, Paxton was asked by Fox News about the FBI investigation, and said: "That's the Biden FBI, the Biden DOJ. They were under investigation by my office. I don't know what they're going to do. All I can tell you is that we were doing the right thing. We're going to continue to do the right thing. I don't control what the Biden White House does."

The investigation into Paxton was the result of allegations made by seven of his top aides in October 2020 that the top Texas law enforcement officer had engaged in bribery and abuse of office.

According to the Associated Press, Paxton hired a lawyer to probe an FBI raid on properties of developer Nate Paul, who had donated tens of thousands of dollars to Paxton's political campaigns. Paul said during a deposition in November 2020 that Paxton had recommended he hire a woman that Paxton had told several people he had had an affair with. Paul denied that his subsequent hiring of her was a favor to Paxton.

It's unclear where the FBI investigation into Paxton currently stands.

As of December 2020, when Trump was still in office, the FBI had issued at least one subpoena related to the bribery and abuse-of-office allegations, according to Austin ABC News affiliate KVUE and the Austin American-Statesman.

That FBI probe isn't the only legal trouble Paxton finds himself in.

Paxton has been under indictment since July 2015 on charges of securities fraud.

In September, Paxton fled his home to avoid a process server attempting to deliver a subpoena for Paxton to testify in a lawsuit filed by abortion providers that want to stop Texas from prosecuting them for helping Texans seek abortion services in other states.

A Siena College poll of likely Texas voters conducted between Oct. 16 and Oct. 19 shows Paxton leading Garza 48% to 42%.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.