Texas AG, 'Lawyers for Trump' leader faces corruption allegations

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was already under indictment. Now, the Lawyers for Trump leader is facing corruption allegations from his own team.
Image: Ken Paxton
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks during a press conference in Austin, Texas, on May 1, 2018.Nick Wagner / Austin American-Statesman via AP file

In late July, the Trump campaign announced the formation of a Lawyers for Trump group, to be led in part by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R). By any fair measure, he was a curious choice.

Right off the bat, there was no getting around the fact that the Texas Republican is currently spearheading litigation to tear down the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. In other words, the co-chair of Lawyers for Trump is the same state A.G. who's fighting to take health security from tens of millions of American families for no reason.

But just as important is the inconvenient fact that Paxton was also indicted a few years ago on felony securities fraud charges. It's the sort of background that should lead a scandal-plagued president to keep his ally at arm's length, but instead, Team Trump welcomed the Texas Republican as the co-chair of Lawyers for Trump.

Over the weekend, Paxton became just a little more politically radioactive. The Austin American-Statesman reported Saturday:

Top aides of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton have asked federal law enforcement authorities to investigate allegations of improper influence, abuse of office, bribery and other potential crimes against the state's top lawyer. In a one-page letter to the state agency's director of human resources, obtained Saturday by the American-Statesman and KVUE-TV, seven executives in the upper tiers of the office said that they are seeking the investigation into Paxton "in his official capacity as the current Attorney General of Texas."

The letter, written Thursday, added that each of the seven officials in the state attorney general's office "has knowledge of facts relevant to these potential offenses and has provided statements concerning those facts to the appropriate law enforcement."

For his part, Paxton, not surprisingly, denied the allegations. He also issued a statement suggesting he intends to launch an investigation into his own office's employees who've accused him of corruption.

As of this morning, the Texas Republican is still listed as one of the top leaders of Lawyers for Trump.

Update: Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) is calling for Paxton to resign.