Saturday, May 15, 2021

FBI subpoena Texas AG Ken Paxton in bribery, abuse of office probe

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The FBI has served subpoenas to the office of Texas’ attorney general, Ken Paxton, as part of its investigation into abuse of office and bribery allegations, local media reported.

It is not clear exactly how many subpoenas were issued or what information the agency is seeking to obtain with them, sources told KENS5.

The Austin American-Statesman reported that federal agents visited the attorney general’s office on Wednesday to serve the subpoenas.

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Neither the FBI nor the Office of the Texas Attorney General immediately responded to requests for comment from Insider.

In October, the FBI launched its investigation into Paxton after senior members of his staff told the agency that he might have violated bribery and abuse-of-office laws in his dealings with a wealthy donor, the real-estate developer Nate Paul.

The former employees allege that Paxton abused his office in hiring an outside lawyer to investigate Paul’s claims that the FBI had improperly raided his home and office last year, according to the Associated Press. All of Paxton’s accusers have resigned, been put on leave, or been fired since reporting on Paxton, the AP said.

Paxton has denied any wrongdoing.

‘The big one’

This week Paxton launched a long-shot bid to change the result of the presidential election, enlisting the support of 17 Republican attorneys general and President Donald Trump himself.

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The lawsuit seeks to get the Supreme Court to overturn the election results in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Georgia — four key states that Trump lost this year, saying that their votes were “tainted.”

But Paxton’s lawsuit did not provide evidence of specific instances of voter fraud, and the math doesn’t add up. Election experts say the lawsuit has little chance of success.

The four states whose election results Paxton is challenging have also described the lawsuit as a “cacophony of bogus claims” in a letter requesting the Supreme Court reject the lawsuit.

“This is the big one. Our Country needs a victory!” Trump tweeted of the lawsuit Wednesday.

‘A fella begging for a pardon’

Some have speculated that Paxton’s election lawsuit may be linked to his own FBI investigation and that he might be seeking a pardon from Trump before the president leaves office in January.

“He’s playing to the hometown crowd with that lawsuit,” Bill Miller, a GOP political consultant in Texas who talks to Paxton, told the AP.

Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska also told the Washington Examiner on Thursday that he believed the lawsuit had little chance of success.

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“I’m no lawyer, but I suspect the Supreme Court swats this away,” he said. “From the brief, it looks like a fella begging for a pardon filed a PR stunt rather than a lawsuit — as all of the assertions have already been rejected by federal courts and Texas’ own solicitor general isn’t signing on.”

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