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Texas AG Ken Paxton Finally Sees Inside Of Courtroom, As Defendant In Securities Fraud Trial. But First, The Impeachment!
Or the tranya, maybe.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who we figure must be chasing some kind of record for being under indictment while still in office (it’s been eight years!) is finally getting a little closer to an actual trial on felony securities-fraud charges. Paxton appeared in court yesterday for a hearing where it was decided that his upcoming impeachment trial in the Texas Senate would take precedence. Paxton will return to state court on October 6 to “deal with pending motions and set a trial date” in his case, which has been delayed again and again since his indictment in 2015.
Between now and then, Paxton will face that Senate trial for a long career of alleged fuckery in which he’s accused of misusing his office to do favors for his pal and big donor (same same) Nate Paul, an Austin real estate investor. That trial is expected to take about three weeks, and will determine whether he’s addressed as “Attorney General Paxton” or just “Mr. Disgraced Private Citizen Paxton” at his October court appearance. Paxton is currently suspended from his job as AG, but not by his thumbs.
The Texas Tribune notes that Paxton’s attorneys filed a motion Monday asking the state Senate to toss out all but one of the impeachment charges, arguing that he can’t be impeached for any conduct that allegedly occurred before his current term started in January of this year, because why not give the state senators a nice laugh now and then?
As for the criminal case, the Tribune ‘splains that
Paxton faces two counts of securities fraud, a first-degree felony with a punishment of up to 99 years in prison, stemming from his 2011 efforts to solicit investors in Servergy Inc. without disclosing that the McKinney tech company was paying him to promote its stock. Paxton also faces one count of failing to register with state securities regulators, a third-degree felony with a maximum of 10 years in prison.
The hearing yesterday was made possible by a ruling that Paxton’s trial could remain in Houston, although other pretrial disputes are still pending, like how much back pay the special prosecutors in the case are owed, which we figure must be a Texas-sized sum. Those outstanding issues will also be addressed at the October hearing.
Following yesterday’s hearing, one of the special prosecutors, Brian Wice, told reporters,
“I know that everybody is concerned about how the wheels of justice have seemed to move at a glacial pace over the course of the last eight years. […] I think today was the first step in a journey of a thousand miles to make sure that justice ultimately comes to be.”
Wice rather pointedly did not add that the real treasure was the friends they made along the way.
The prosecutors anticipate the trial will finally get underway in the winter, possibly in February, and we assume they hastened to clarify they meant February of 2024.
One of Paxton’s lawyers, Dan Cogdell, told reporters that the impeachment trial’s results could affect how he approaches the criminal trial.
“Logically, if Ken prevails, we’ll go forward,” Cogdell said. “If Ken loses, that’s a kill shot to his political career, so it opens the door to a resolution that’s not open right now.”
Asked what that resolution could be, Cogdell replied, “Dismissal, settlement, resolution — who knows.”
We can hardly wait to see whether Paxton’s attorneys argue that he cannot be prosecuted for any crimes that allegedly occurred following the end of Law & Order: Trial by Jury in 2006, because without trial by jury, how can there be justice?
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