Seven top officials in the Texas Attorney General’s Office called on federal law enforcement to investigate Attorney General Ken Paxton for corruption, the Austin Statesman reports.
Seven senior officials, including Paxton’s top deputy, sent a letter to the state’s director of human resources informing them that they are seeking an investigation into Paxton for bribery, improper influence, abuse of office, and other potential crimes “in his official capacity as the current Attorney General of Texas.”
The letter said that all seven had “knowledge of facts relevant to these potential offenses and has provided statements concerning those facts to the appropriate law enforcement.”
Paxton claims his own probe:
Paxton’s office claimed in a statement that the letter was retaliation for his own investigation into wrongdoing at the AG’s office.
“The complaint filed against Attorney General Paxton was done to impede an ongoing investigation into criminal wrongdoing by public officials including employees of this office,” the statement said. “Making false claims is a very serious matter and we plan to investigate this to the fullest extent of the law.”
The AG’s office did not elaborate on what wrongdoing it is investigating.
Jeff Mateer, Paxton’s top deputy, resigned on Friday.
“We have a good faith belief that the attorney general is violating federal and/or state law including prohibitions related to improper influence, abuse of office, bribery and other potential criminal offenses,” the officials’ letter said.
Paxton already faces felony charges:
Paxton, who was elected in 2014, was indicted in 2015 for three felony counts linked to private business deals in 2011 and 2012.
He was arrested and booked just months into his term but denied the fraud charges.
“Don’t believe the attacks on me,” he said in 2016. “They aren’t true, and I am going to fight them.”
The two securities fraud charges carry up to 99 years in prison. He is also charged with failing to register with state securities regulators while conducting other investment business, which carries up to 10 years in prison.
No trial date has been set.