The FBI is investigating Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who was accused by numerous subordinates of abusing his office, according to the Associated Press.
The FBI is investigating claims made by more than a half-dozen former staffers that Paxton committed bribery, abused his office, and committed other crimes while using his position to benefit a wealthy donor, real estate developer Nate Paul.
Paxton has denied any wrongdoing and vowed not to step down.
Paxton is accused of hiring an outside lawyer to investigate Paul’s allegation that the FBI wrongly searched his home and office in an investigation after donating $25,000 to Paxton’s campaign.
Paul said in a recent deposition that Paxton also recommended a woman for a job at his company. Sources told the AP that Paxton had an extramarital affair with the woman, who was a state Senate aide.
Seven attorneys in Paxton’s office came forward in September to file whistleblower complaints against their boss.
All seven have since resigned from the office.
Four of them have filed a state whistleblower lawsuit against Paxton, accusing him of pushing them out in retaliation for reporting him to the FBI.
“Paxton responded to the report immediately and with ferocity, as though he was trying consciously to show Texans exactly what retaliation against whistleblowers looks like,” the suit says.
Paxton fights back:
Paxton told the Austin American-Statesman that he would defend himself against the allegations.
“Unfortunately, I know a little something about being falsely accused and being forced to counter allegations that are the result of overreach by prosecutors and law enforcement,” he said in a statement.
“I make no apologies for being a fierce investigator and defender of individual rights in the face of potentially unreasonable and authoritarian actions,” Paxton wrote. “Doing so is not favoritism. It is doing what the people of Texas expect from every law enforcement agency, their attorney general, and the staff of this office.”