Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton vows he's going to fight 'illegal and unconstitutional' actions by the Biden administration.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton vowed Wednesday that he would protect his state against illegal actions he's pretty sure the administration of President Joe Biden is going to take.
"Congrats, President Biden," Paxton wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. "On Inauguration Day, I wish our country the best. I promise my fellow Texans and Americans that I will fight against the many unconstitutional and illegal actions that the new administration will take, challenge federal overreach that infringes on Texans' rights, and serve as a major check against the administration's lawlessness. Texas First! Law & Order always!"
Paxton, a Donald Trump loyalist, himself has a lengthy track record of alleged illegal behavior, and it's not the first time he's made false and baseless claims about Biden.
In the fall of 2020, eight of his own top aides accused Paxton of bribery and abuse of power. Paxton responded by calling them "rogue employees" and ultimately firing four of the whistleblowers.
In the aftermath, even his fellow Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn voiced concerns about Paxton: "I've been troubled from the beginning, from his first indictment that hasn't been resolved in five years. I think that is a bad thing for the office, and I wish he would've gotten that resolved one way or another earlier."
Paxton was also indicted in July 2015, in his first year in office, on charges of felony securities fraud. Although Paxton has been out on bond for more than six years, the case has yet to come to trial, delayed by requests for change of venue and other issues.
The unresolved charges have stained his reputation for much of his time in office.
According to the Texas Tribune, ethics watchdog groups have also raised concerns about Paxton's past fundraising for his legal defense. He accepted $329,000 from "family friends," which some argue is a violation of state laws prohibiting public officials from accepting gifts from those "subject to their authority."
In 2016, Paxton was the subject of an investigation by the Texas State Bar after the landmark Supreme Court decision Obergefell v. Hodges made marriage equality the law of the land. Paxton allegedly told county clerks in the state that they could ignore the ruling and continue to refuse to issue marriage licenses to LGBTQ couples.
Paxton has been a staunch opponent of the incoming Biden administration, fighting the results of the 2020 presidential election and spreading Trump's lies about election fraud.
After the Nov. 3 election, Paxton launched a baseless lawsuit on behalf of the state of Texas challenging the voting results in four states, which some have slammed as a political ploy. Eighteen other states and Trump himself would later sign on to the suit, and more than half of House Republicans to a statement in support of it.
The Supreme Court threw out Paxton's suit, citing the state's lack of standing to make such a challenge.
He spoke at the pro-Trump rally that immediately preceded the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters on Jan. 6 that left five dead, urging those in attendance to keep fighting the election results.
"We're here. We will not quit fighting," he told the crowd that would later turn violent. "We are Texans, we are Americans, and we're not quitting."
Later, he made false claims that the riot by the Trump supporters was actually perpetrated by "antifa."
Paxton was the only state attorney general in the country who declined to sign either of two letters condemning the insurrection.
Despite his loyalty, however, Paxton was not among those Trump included in the last-minute flurry of presidential pardons he issued during his final days in office.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.