Paxton’s Pals Pay to Keep Politician out of Pokey

“Friends” of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton gave him almost $330,000 to help pay for his legal defense against felony securities fraud charges, according to Paxton’s most recent filing with the Texas Ethics Commission.   Paxton’s personal financial statement establishes that he is funding a high-profile criminal defense team with the help of so-called friends and associates.  And not a single one of those friends and/or associates expects a single favor in return for helping keep Paxton out of the pokey.

 Paxton is using a loophole in the state ethics laws that allow state officials to keep gifts from people who are allegedly not seeking anything in return.  Under state bribery laws, elected officials are not allowed to receive gifts from people or entities subject to their authority.  But as attorney general, Paxton has authority over a wide range of legal issues and controls the state’s largest law department   Nonetheless,  Paxton sought an exception allowing “gifts from family members and those ‘independent’ of an officeholder’s ‘official status.’” In essence if this passes muster, Paxton will be allowed to tap a few rich folks for unlimited sums of cash to pay his attorneys based on the idea that none of these folks have an interest in getting anything in return because they are long time friends, buddies, pals and confidants of the state’s embattled top lawyer.
And Red has a bridge to sell you.
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