Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is the subject of another witch hunt — which he has repeatedly been targeted with almost from the moment of his initial election to that post in 2014 as a tea party candidate.
This time the Lone Star State's top prosecutor is accused of accepting a bribe.
Specifically, in exchange for helping a political donor with his business affairs, Paxton is accused of accepting remodeling work on his home, and obtaining a job for an alleged girlfriend, according to court documents obtained The Texas Tribune.
His accusers are four former senior aides Paxton had fired from the attorney general's office.
They allege he used his office to help Austin real estate developer Nate Paul settle a lawsuit and investigate his business rivals. Paul donated $25,000 to Paxton's 2018 re-election campaign.
The four aides who sued Paxton in November after being fired are: James Brickman, David Maxwell, J. Mark Penley, and Ryan Vassar.
They claim the firings were retaliation for reporting Paxton's activities to federal and state law enforcement agencies, alleging Paxton was abusing his power to help Paul.
A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday on the matter, which Paxton described as "false allegations" that were brought by "rogue employees."
His office expanded on that characterization in a statement it released to the Tribune on Thursday.
"Any accusations that the attorney general acted contrary to the law are completely false and they will be proven false in court," Ian Prior, a political spokesperson for Paxton, said.
The lawsuit itself appears long on accusations but short on details.
It might also be an uphill battle for Paxton's accusers.
Although Paul admitted Paxton recommended the alleged girlfriend to him, he said that was all it was — a recommendation and not a quid pro quo.
Political donors make recommendations to elected officials all the time. So what is the crime?
As it turns out, the woman is a former staffer of Paxton's wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton.
On the remodeling issue, the lawsuit states, "In mid-2020, some of the Plaintiffs received information suggesting that Nate Paul, either personally or through [a] construction company he owns and controls, was involved in the project."
However, the filing also admitted Paxton's $1 million Tarrytown, Texas, neighborhood home, which he purchased in 2018, underwent renovations in 2020, "although permitting records in Travis County could not be located."
The accusers again offer no evidence of any wrongdoing.
"We do live in a constitutional republic where the rule of law says that you're innocent until proven guilty, so I'm sure that there will be an investigation going forward and we will learn the results of that investigation," Texas GOP Chairman Lt. Col. Allen West said in a statement.
After the four former senior aides made their allegations against Paxton, two were placed on leave and were later discharged. The other two were eventually terminated as well.
The four plaintiffs are seeking reinstatement, compensation for lost wages, as well as future lost earnings. They are also asking for damages for emotional distress.
In 2015, special prosecutor Kent Schaffer told The New York Times that Paxton was indicted on a felony state securities fraud charge for misleading investors.
That allegedly happened before he took over his current position, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. Those charges are still pending.
"It's hard for some people to say anything at this point," said state Rep. Matt Krause, a Republican whose district includes Fort Worth. "When people hear 'indictment,' they think the guy is guilty. But, no, that's not necessarily the case."
The Wall Street Journal defined the lawsuit as a "political prosecution," something which Texas has a long history of engaging in.
Paxton has long supported President Trump and conservative causes.
When Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin exploited the COVID-19 pandemic by using widely distributed mail-in ballots, ignoring their own state election laws during the 2020 election, Paxton's Texas led a lawsuit he filed with the U.S. Supreme Court.
He alleged, states like Texas were denied equity under the Constitution, since they abided by voting rules set down by his state's legislature, whereas other states made up rules.
Some 106 U.S. Republican lawmakers and 16 additional state attorneys general joined in Paxton's Supreme Court action.
In the end, the high court declined to hear the case, claiming lack of jurisdiction, with Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissenting.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.