AUSTIN, Texas — Now that his impeachment trial is over, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suiting up for another legal battle. He was indicted on securities fraud charges eight years ago. That’s a first-degree felony punishable by up to 99 years in prison.
What You Need To Know
- Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton prepares for a criminal trial now that his impeachment trial is over
- He was indicted on securities fraud charges eight years ago. Paxton has pleaded not guilt and has managed to avoid a trial
- The next hearing is in October, when a trial date will be set
- If convicted, the first-degree felony is punishable by up to 99 years in prison
Paxton pleaded not guilty, but has so far avoided trial. The next hearing is in early October, and that’s when we’ll know the trial date.
“That’s been a BS case since day one,” Paxton’s defense lawyer Dan Cogdell said Saturday, after he was acquitted of the impeachment charges against him. “That case like this one should have never been brought. They ought to dismiss it. If they don’t dismiss it, we’ll try him and beat them there just like we beat them here.”
Cogdell represented Paxton in the impeachment trial too.
Another lawyer who watched the proceedings doesn’t think the testimony from the impeachment trial will impact his criminal one. The four articles of impeachment that had to do with the securities fraud charges were not considered and then thrown out.
“The evidence didn’t really overlap. The people are different,” said appellate lawyer David Coale, with Lynn Pinker Hurst Schwegmann LLP.
The jurors in Paxton’s impeachment trial were senators. They know Paxton well, and some had to weigh the political consequences of convicting a Republican. That won’t be the case in the criminal trial.
“For this day in court, he’s not going to be judged by a jury of his friends, but an actual jury that is impartial, without knowing the full facts of the case or having a working relationship with somebody for many years,” said Brian Smith, a political science professor at St. Edward’s University.
The FBI is also investigating alleged corruption that was revealed in a whistleblower lawsuit, which sparked the House investigation into Paxton and ultimately led to his impeachment. Those investigators could also use the evidence from the Senate trial to make their case.
“The federal prosecutors have their own criteria they look at, and they’ll evaluate anything new that came out from this, although it didn’t seem like there was a whole lot that was new,” Coale said.
The State Bar of Texas also sued Paxton for allegedly trying to challenge the results of the 2020 election.