Texas AG, 'Lawyers for Trump' leader reportedly facing FBI probe

It's not every day that a state attorney general faces a criminal investigation, though for Texas' Ken Paxton (R), it's become amazingly common.
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

It's not every day that a sitting state attorney general faces a criminal investigation, though for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), it's become quite a bit more common than it should be. The Associated Press reported overnight:

The FBI is investigating allegations that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton broke the law in using his office to benefit a wealthy donor, according to two people with knowledge of the probe. Federal agents are looking into claims by former members of Paxton's staff that the high-profile Republican committed bribery, abuse of office and other crimes to help Austin real estate developer Nate Paul, the people told The Associated Press.

To be sure, when a state attorney general faces an FBI corruption investigation, it's the sort of thing that's bound to get the AG's attention. In Paxton's case, however, his attention will be divided between this and his many other scandals.

Circling back to our earlier coverage, Paxton was indicted a few years ago on felony securities fraud charges. Last month, his troubles got much worse, when members of Paxton's own team made multiple criminal allegations against him.

The Texas Republican responded by retaliating against his colleagues.

Around the same time, the Associated Press reported that Paxton "had an extramarital affair with a woman whom he later recommended for a job with the wealthy donor now at the center of criminal allegations against him."

All of which suggests that the Texas attorney general probably needs a good legal defense team.

But let's not overlook the national context: In late July, Donald Trump's re-election campaign announced the formation of a Lawyers for Trump group, to be led in part by -- you guessed it -- Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R).

As of this morning, the Texas Republican is still listed as one of the top leaders of Lawyers for Trump, despite the fact that the president lost, and despite the fact Paxton appears to be burdened by a series of dramatic scandals.