House Impeachment Managers continued to name “prosecution” witnesses throughout day 4 of the impeachment trial of suspended Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. One of the witnesses, a Texas legislation enforcement “icon,” testified he warned Paxton that conducting an investigation for the advantage of donor Nate Paul may find yourself with them getting indicted. He referred to as Paul a “criminal” who was “running a Ponzi scheme.”
Breitbart Texas reported that witness David M. Maxwell, Jr., a distinguished Texas legislation enforcement officer with 25 years of expertise as a Texas Ranger, testified he informed Paxton that the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) couldn’t be used to analyze Paul’s FBI and DPS investigators. Texas authorized legend Dick Deguerin referred to as Maxwell as a witness for House Impeachment managers.
Natin “Nate” Paul is an Austin actual property developer who’s a big Paxton donor and the employer of Paxton’s alleged mistress. Paul is called within the articles of impeachment. He is particularly talked about in six of the articles and is implicated in a lot of the others.
FBI brokers arrested Paul in June. The 23-page indictment contains eight counts of constructing false statements to monetary establishments.
The virtually 50-year legislation enforcement skilled testified the knowledge Paul gave the workplace didn’t meet any of the necessities for an investigation. He testified that an investigation requires possible trigger earlier than they may transfer ahead, and “This was not that.” The Ranger added that investigations require warning the place public officers are involved as a result of the mere begin of an investigation may “damage a public official.”
Ranger Maxwell served because the Deputy Director of the Law Enforcement Division of the Texas Office of Attorney General earlier than Paxton fired him for refusing to interact within the investigation.
Maxwell testified that General Paxton was “very angry with him” for refusing to analyze Paul’s investigators.
“I know his state of mind because he threatened to fire me during the meeting,” Maxwell said. After three conferences with Paul, Paxton maintained his dedication to help Paul, he defined. Maxwell mentioned he didn’t consider Paxton was going to cease the investigation.
As reported by Breitbart Texas, witnesses testified that Paxton needed to rent an out of doors lawyer to analyze legislation enforcement companies investigating Nate Paul and his properties. Paxton reportedly mentioned he didn’t belief DPS or the FBI and believed they had been “oppressing” Paul. The AG personally signed a contract with five-year lawyer Brandon Cammack who started issuing subpoenas to people and monetary establishments. Top AG deputies wouldn’t log out on the contract, witnesses mentioned in the course of the impeachment trial.
Maxwell was a Texas Ranger from 1986 to 2010. Among different distinctions, he obtained the DPS Director’s Citation relating to the arrest and prosecution of “Railroad Killer” Rafael Resendiz. He additionally obtained the Directors Award (ATF) for his half within the David Koresh investigation. Maxwell joined the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) in 1972, serving within the narcotics division and the Texas Highway Patrol earlier than going to the OAG.
The OAG’s lead investigator was on trip when Paxton’s high government deputies referred to as him and mentioned they had been “going to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with me.”
Maxwell testified, “I joined the [whistleblower] suit because he [Paxton] ended my career in a very unjust manner.”
On cross-examination by high-profile felony protection legal professional Dan Cogdell, the protection requested Maxwell why he by no means knowledgeable Nate Paul or his attorneys that the Travis County Attorney’s Office had recused itself from any investigation. At one level, Maxwell merely answered, “Correct,” after Cogdell continued to ask him in regards to the scenario.
Cogdell requested the OAG high investigator, “What crime is committed by asking you to investigate the legality of a search warrant?” The composed and skilled cop mentioned, “Obstruction of justice and interfering into a felony investigation.”
On the morning of Day 4, Paxton’s lawyer, J. Mitchell Little, cross-examined Vassar about textual content messages with the higher echelon making enjoyable of Paxton’s new hires. Little repeatedly interjected that his shopper, Ken Paxton, is the “guy that got 4.2 million votes.” Breitbart Texas reported that in the course of the first morning of the trial, Texas senators, serving as jurors within the impeachment trial, soundly rejected Paxton’s argument that the Prior-Term “Forgiveness” Doctrine ought to lead to dismissing the impeachment proceedings.
When protection counsel requested Vassar in regards to the response time on the Open Records Request, he couldn’t recall whether or not the deadline to challenge the opinion had been missed. Vassar testified on Day Three that the AG “asked us to find a way to release the information.” If they’d finished so, Vassar testified, “It would reverse decades of the law enforcement privilege.” Paxton reportedly mentioned he thought Nate Paul was being “railroaded” and expressed mistrust in legislation enforcement. Paul needed legislation enforcement to must launch info referring to his investigation, witnesses said.
Impeachment Article III fees that Ken Paxton abused the Open Records Process, disregarding his official responsibility. Specifically, “Paxton directed employees of his office to act contrary to law by refusing to render a proper decision relating to a public information request for records held by the Department of Public Safety and by issuing a decision involving another public information request that was contrary to law and applicable legal precedent.”
Vassar additionally testified that the unredacted FBI temporary was launched to Paul as a result of General Paxton directed them to launch it. “Paxton said he saw nothing that needed to be kept from Nate Paul,” Vassar testified. A lawyer on the OAG launched the temporary to a lawyer for Nate Paul, testimony revealed.
Paxton’s lawyer requested Vassar once more in regards to the OAG letterhead used with out General Paxton’s identify. Vassar responded, “It is not the only letterhead at the Office of Attorney General.” Little confirmed Vassar a number of paperwork with the AG’s identify on them, however Vassar has frequently testified that completely different letterheads are used within the workplace.
House “prosecutor” and well-known outstanding Houston legal professional Rusty Hardin examined Ryan Vassar on redirect. Vassar is the previous Deputy Attorney General for Legal Counsel. Breitbart Texas reported that on Day three of the proceedings, the daddy of 4 and former Supreme Court of Texas clerk turned tearful when requested about his response to Paxton’s calling his fellow whistleblowers “rogue employees.”
“The statement of being rogue is contrary to the years I dedicated my life to the State,” Vassar mentioned whereas wiping his eyes. He defined that he joined the whistleblower lawsuit for example to his youngsters and the folks he managed on the OAG.
Mr. Hardin cleaned up any confusion in regards to the variations within the varieties of authorized opinions and the method of issuing an Attorney General Opinion. Vassar mentioned that Paul’s lawyer used the casual opinion in courtroom inside days of its issuance in an try to cease foreclosures in the course of the COVID pandemic. Vassar mentioned he had by no means seen Paxton get entangled in drafting an opinion.
Hardin additionally clarified the notion attributable to Vassar’s prior testimony that he and colleagues introduced “no evidence” to the FBI after they reported Paxton. Vassar testified that his expertise of what had occurred was “evidence.” He referred to “our experiences” because the “cumulative knowledge” that high deputies had as a bunch. He “never viewed himself as an investigator.”
“I believed I was a witness to criminal activity that had occurred by General Paxton,” he said.
During the impeachment proceedings, all the House Impeachment Manager witnesses have testified that Paxton highjacked the assets of the Office of the Attorney General to profit a personal individual, in addition to profit a personal individual over the general public’s curiosity.
Article XVIII of the impeachment articles is a “catchall” that fees that “While holding office as attorney general, Warren Kenneth Paxton violated the Texas Constitution, his oaths of office, statutes, and public policy against public officials acting contrary to the public interest by engaging in acts described in one or more articles.” Article XVII fees, “Paxton misused his official powers by causing employees of his office to perform services for his benefit and the benefit of others.”
Houston lawyer and authorized analyst Chris Tritico informed Breitbart Texas, “The Texas Constitution bars and the Texas Penal Code makes it a crime for our government and our elected officials to use the public’s money and resources for the private gain of single citizens as opposed to the public good.” He added, “Violating these provisions can result in criminal sanctions and/or ethics charges up to removal from office.”
Former Harris County Republican Party Chairman and Houston protection lawyer Gary Polland informed Breitbart, “The resources of the State of Texas are not to be used to support a private interest lawsuit. This isn’t a hard concept to understand.”
Article III of the Texas Constitution, part 52(a) supplies, “Except as otherwise provided by this section, the Legislature shall have no power to authorize any county, city, town or other political corporation or subdivision of the State to lend its credit or to grant public money or thing of value in aid of, or to any individual, association or corporation whatsoever, or to become a stockholder in such corporation, association or company.”
Video archives of the impeachment proceedings might be discovered on the Texas Senate Impeachment web site. The articles of Impeachment, the Rules of Procedure for the Court of Impeachment, the witness listing, all motions filed by the House Board of Managers and Paxton’s protection staff, reveals, and different potential proof are posted on the Texas Senate Court of Impeachment web site.
Suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton didn’t attend the impeachment proceedings in the course of the second, third, and fourth day of trial.
Lana Shadwick is a author and authorized analyst for Breitbart Texas. She is a trial lawyer who practices felony protection and household legislation in East Texas. She was a Texas prosecutor and household courtroom affiliate decide in Harris County, Texas.