There is perhaps no state attorney general under more legal scrutiny than Texas AG Ken Paxton.
Already under indictment by a state grand jury since 2015 on securities fraud charges, Paxton is now being investigated by the Texas bar association over his efforts to overturn Texas’ election results in the 2020 presidential contest.
The argument being made by the association is that Paxton’s unsuccessful attempts to nullify the election results over phony claims of fraud amounted to professional misconduct that should result in his disbarment.
According to The Associated Press:
“The State Bar of Texas initially declined to take up a Democratic Party activist’s complaint that Paxton’s petitioning of the U.S. Supreme Court to block Joe Biden’s victory was frivolous and unethical. But a tribunal that oversees grievances against lawyers overturned that decision late last month and ordered the bar to look into the accusations against the Republican official.”
The new investigation complicates Paxton’s run for election next year, although he did manage to win in his last contest in 2018 despite the securities fraud indictment.
The 71-year-old president of the Galveston Island Democrats, Kevin Moran, confirmed to The Associated Press that his complaint had led to the new investigation.
Moran believes that the Texas attorney general’s attempts to decertify the election results of other states were so egregious that Paxton deserves to lose his license to practice law because of it.
“He wanted to disenfranchise the voters in four other states,” Moran exclaimed. “It’s just crazy.”
The Texas bar association will now wait for Paxton to reply to the newly reinstated complaint before deciding the case in a process that resembles a grand jury investigation.
With the confidential proceedings expected to last for months, it remains to be seen if the new investigation will lead to the unprecedented situation of a disbarred lawyer running for a third term as Texas Attorney General.
Original reporting by Jake Bleiberg at The Associated Press.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.