Another Texas Scandal

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, in undated photo from Dallas Morning News.

The explanation from Reuters is simpler:

Special prosecutors will ask a Texas grand jury as early as this month to indict the state’s attorney general on first-degree felony charges for suspected securities laws violations, one of the prosecutors said on Thursday.

A spokesman for Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican who came to office earlier this year with strong Tea Party support, was not immediately available for comment.

“There is evidence that needs to be presented to the grand jury about a couple of different violations. One of which that they will have to determine is if securities fraud was present,” said attorney Kent Schaffer, appointed to investigate the suspected violations.


The details, however, as we learn from WFAA television, are a lot more complicated:

The criminal investigation against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has taken a more serious turn, with special prosecutors now planning to present a first-degree felony securities fraud case against him to a Collin County grand jury, News 8 has learned.

Special prosecutor Kent Schaffer told News 8 Wednesday afternoon that the Texas Rangers uncovered new evidence during the investigation that led to the securities fraud allegations against the sitting attorney general.

“The Rangers went out to investigate one thing, and they came back with information on something else,” Schaffer told News 8. “It’s turned into something different than when they started.”

No, really, Tanya Eiserer’s report is nearly incomprehensible, but that is only symptomatic of a story that begins with a simple failure to register as an investment advisor, evaded the jurisdiction of the Travis County prosecutors who undertake political corruption and are presently famous for having indicted former Gov. Rick Perry, saw another prosecutor pass over the case, and a third to file for recusal before a judge appointed two special prosecutors who, apparently, are preparing to bring first-degree felony charges that, by their classification, include life imprisonment as a possible outcome for Attorney General Paxton.

If nothing else, there’s a lot to see. Even the weirdness is Texas sized.


Image note: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, in undated staff photo from Dallas Morning News.

Herskovitz, Jon. “Texas attorney general could face felony indictment: special prosecutor”. Reuters. 2 July 2015.

Eiserer, Tanya. “Attorney General Paxton could face first-degree felony case”. WFAA. 1 July 2015.

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