DAGA Statement on Trump’s Endorsement of Indicted Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton
July 28, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C.— The Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA) released the following statement in response to Donald Trump’s endorsement of the Republican Attorney General of Texas, Ken Paxton, who has been indicted for fraud and was a leader in pushing the “Big Lie” in lawsuits and at the January 6th rally before the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Statement from Democratic Attorneys General Association Executive Director Sean Rankin:
“It is no surprise that Paxton has been endorsed by someone who also plays fast and loose with the facts and the law. Paxton is under investigation by the FBI, has been indicted on securities fraud, and led misguided and potentially disastrous legal efforts to strip healthcare away from millions of Americans during a global pandemic.
Trump’s endorsement is political payback and support in exchange for Paxton’s lead role in spearheading a frivolous lawsuit to undermine free and fair elections in battleground states, a lawsuit which was rebuffed by the United States Supreme Court.
Paxton is a danger to our country, and Trump’s endorsement should not detract from the fact Paxton is unfit to serve as a state Attorney General.”
Additional Background on Ken Paxton’s Corrupt Record (as reported by The Texas Tribune):
- To help pay for his stacked team of defense attorneys, he has collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts for his legal defense fund, claiming the contributions came from “family friends” and are exempt from a state bribery law that bars elected officials from receiving gifts from people who are subject to their authority.
- Paxton is currently under indictment for securities fraud and is accused of convincing investors to buy stock in a technology firm without disclosing that he would be compensated for it. He has maintained his innocence and criticized the prosecution as politically motivated. In 2014, the Texas State Securities Board fined Paxton $1,000 for soliciting investment clients without being registered, and he signed a disciplinary order without disputing its findings.
- In November of 2020, news broke that Paxton is also being investigated by the FBI for abuse of office, bribery, and other crimes.
- In early 2019, his wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton, filed a bill that would have expanded her husband’s power as attorney general, giving him the power to exempt individuals from state regulations like the one he has been charged with violating.
- In 2018, Paxton’s office filed – and then abruptly recalled – a formal court brief in a lawsuit over Plano’s zoning policies, in a move that his supporters attributed to political influence from conservatives in his home county.
- Last spring, he declared that Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban on elective medical procedures, an effort to conserve hospital resources for coronavirus patients, also barred abortions in the state, sparking a lawsuit that would drag on for weeks and force hundreds of women to cancel appointments to terminate their pregnancies.
- Early on in the pandemic, his office threatened to sue the state’s biggest cities if they did not roll back coronavirus-related safety precautions, including mask mandates, and told local officials they could not delay or stop landlords from evicting their tenants during the pandemic.
- Paxton used the power of his office to lean on a Colorado county after it shut its doors to vacation homeowners — including a top donor.
- Paxton has led over 20 multi-state lawsuits to overturn laws like the Affordable Care Act and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, often landing cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He’s made equally political choices in the cases he chooses not to take.
- His office refused to defend a state agency, as it typically would, when it was sued for disciplining a state judge who refused to perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples.
- And he declined to defend the Texas Ethics Commission in a lawsuit brought by the hardline conservative group Empower Texans, a political donor.
- In early 2019, he was a major player in Texas’ botched effort to review its voter rolls.
- Paxton often boasts of his close relationship with Donald Trump and frequently would greet him on the tarmac when Air Force One touched down in Texas, and shared stories during public appearances about their communication on major Texas-led litigation – the time Trump called while Paxton was in the shower is a favorite.
- Paxton then spearheaded a lawsuit joined by 17 other Republican AGs which sought to throw out legally cast votes in the battleground states. He was under investigation by the Texas Bar Association for the lawsuit which was rejected by SCOTUS.
- As part of the failed efforts to overturn election results from 2020, Paxton has asked the Texas Bar Association to drop their investigation on whether the failed GOP efforts were actions of professional misconduct. Paxton has asked them to drop the investigation claiming, “unconstitutional overreach.”
- Paxton spoke at the rally before the January 6th insurrection, and later falsely claimed that the rioters were part of Antifa.
- A lawsuit was filed in April by the ACLU of Texas arguing that Paxon’s decision to block people on Twitter goes against the First Amendment rights of the plaintiffs of the case who had been blocked. Paxton agreed to stop blocking users as part of an agreement to end the lawsuit.
- Twitter filed a lawsuit against Paxton while he and other Texas Republicans were investigating the company claiming that social media companies removing conspiracy accounts after the riot at the Capitol was an attempt to discriminate against GOP voices. Twitter stated they were suing Paxton, for “unlawfully abusing his authority as the highest law-enforcement officer of the State of Texas to intimidate, harass, and target Twitter in retaliation for Twitter’s exercise of its First Amendment rights.” The lawsuit was dismissed by a federal judge.
- Recently, top aides of Paxton’s brought a whistleblower case to an appeals court and Paxton has asked the court to dismiss the case, but not before being accused of “distorting testimony” to get the lawsuit thrown out.
- Paxton and nine other Republican AGs brought a lawsuit against Google with the potential to cost Texas taxpayers millions for legal counsel. The lawsuit accuses Google of being a company that engages in anti-competitive advertising.
- Paxton made national headlines and enraged advocates and Democratic AGs across the country by arresting a voter in Houston who did know it was illegal to vote while on parole.