Multiple staff members accused Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of bribery and abuse of power in a letter Thursday, the Austin American Statesman reported.
The letter, signed by seven staff members, was addressed to the human resources director in Paxton’s office. Though it does not outline any specific allegations against Paxton, the letter does claim that Paxton has “violated federal and/or state law, including prohibitions relating to improper influence, abuse of office, bribery, and other potential criminal offenses,” according to the American-Statesman.
Lawyers for the letter’s signees also allege that Paxton used his office to benefit one of his donors, The Houston Chronicle reported.
Paxton’s office denied the charges against him, saying that the accusers were trying to upend an ongoing investigation into other employees within the agency.
“The complaint against Attorney General Paxton was done to impede an ongoing investigation into criminal wrongdoing by public officials including employees of this office. Making false claims is a very serious matter and we plan to investigate this to the fullest extent of the law,” Paxton’s office told the American-Statesman. (RELATED: Texas AG Explains Why He’s Fighting Mail-In Voting During The Pandemic)
This is not Paxton’s first legal controversy as Texas’s attorney general. He was indicted in 2015 just months into his first term for felony securities fraud, a case that has not yet gone to trial, according to The Washington Post.
The offices of Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick and Dennis Bonnen have not returned requests for comment after @statesman and @KVUE reported that seven of Ken Paxton’s top aides want Paxton investigated.
Meanwhile, a political adviser to Paxton has resigned. https://t.co/gAsriQl5xx
— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) October 4, 2020
The letter was signed by Jeffrey C. Mateer, Paxton’s first assistant, and six other deputy attorneys general, the Post reported. The allegations surround Nate Paul, a Paxton donor who gave $25,000 to his campaign who has been the target of FBI raids, according to The Houston Chronicle.
In response to the allegations, the Democratic Attorneys General Association called for Paxton’s resignation, calling him “an embarrassment and a danger” in a statement.
“For too long Paxton has teetered on the edge. He needs to go, and an independent investigation should be launched immediately,” the statement said.
Other Texas Republicans have voiced their concerns as well. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called the allegations against Paxton “obviously concerning,” according to the Post, and Gov. Greg Abbott said that the “allegations raise serious concerns” Sunday, according to Texas outlet KBTX.
Paxton’s office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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