There are many reasons Ken Paxton should never have the words “attorney general” attached to his name but none more so than the two serious and credible allegations of criminal wrongdoing he’s facing. There’s the federal securities fraud indictment he’s had hanging over his head since 2015, which carries a potential life sentence, which has still not gone to trial.
More recently, there’s the federal corruption/bribery investigation triggered by a group of top former employees turned whistleblowers. They accused Paxton of intervening on behalf of a real estate developer and campaign donor over the staffers’ concerns. All eight either resigned or were fired. Four are now suing Paxton and now claim that the developer hired Paxton’s extramarital lover. The whistleblowers also went to the FBI and an investigation ensued.
Now, Paxton faces challenges in the March 1 primary, most notably from Rep. Louie Gohmert and Land Commissioner George P. Bush (Jeb’s son). Paxton holds a lead in the polls but not by enough to avoid a run-off.
So, maybe it was nervousness that made Paxton blabber so indiscreetly during recent interviews. He claimed the whistleblowers didn’t explain their issues to him, claimed they were the lawbreakers and bizarrely accused the FBI of having “infiltrated” his office before the whistleblowers made their complaint.
That enraged the whistleblowers. The four plaintiffs issued a statement, saying that while they had preferred to remain silent and let the case progress in the courts, “Paxton has made numerous false and misleading public statements that we feel obligated to correct.” They not only disputed Paxton’s account but went one step further, saying, “The most basic qualifications of an attorney general are respect for truth and respect for the law. Ken Paxton has neither.”
Now there are headlines about the whistleblowers’ allegations all over the Texas news outlets. Early voting has already begun.
Couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.