Special prosecutors are planning to present a first-degree felony securities fraud case against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) to a Collin County grand jury. Prosecutors are also seeking to indict Paxton for a third-degree felony, for failing to register with the Securities Board while he solicited clients for Mowery Capital Management.
The first-degree felony securities fraud case allegedly involved sums well in excess of 100,000 dollars, according to special prosecutor Kent Schaffer. If Paxton is convicted of a first-degree felony, he could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.
The two special prosecutors assigned to Paxton’s case reported that the Texas Rangers had uncovered new evidence that warranted pursuing the expanded felony charges against Paxton. Schaffer noted that:
The Rangers went out to investigate one thing, and they came back with information on something else. It’s turned into something different than when they started.
He added that, in light of the new evidence:
We believe that there’s sufficient evidence to present to a grand jury.
The pending indictments come at an inopportune time for the Attorney General. In recent days, Paxton has raised his public profile by encouraging county clerks to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. He decried the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling, by arguing that it “weakened the rule of law”. With his emphasis on the rule of law, it will be rather inconvenient for Paxton if he gets slapped with multiple felony indictments while he hypocritically portrays himself as a defender of the rule of law.
High ranking Republican officials in Texas facing felony indictments is nothing new. Former Texas GOP Governor and 2016 presidential hopeful Rick Perry is also facing felony charges for allegedly misusing his authority to cut off funding for the state’s ethics agency and for allegedly attempting to coerce a public servant.
Republican officials in the Lone Star State like to portray themselves as fighters for law and order, but they often govern as if the laws do not apply to them. As Texas’ top law enforcement official, Attorney General Paxton, has an obligation to uphold the law both in his official capacity and in his personal life. A Texas grand jury may soon decide that Paxton should be indicted for felony securities fraud. If Paxton is convicted, he could spend a long time behind bars.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.