Texas Attorney General accused of breaking the law by attorneys in his own office

Texas

FILE – In this file photo, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks during a hearing in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

AUSTIN, Texas — Seven attorneys from the Texas Attorney General’s Office made a written request for a criminal investigation against sitting Attorney General Ken Paxton.

One of the seven resigned recently.

“We have a good faith belief that the Attorney General is violating federal and/or state law, including prohibitions relating to improper influence, abuse of office, bribery, and other potential criminal offenses,” the letter said.

A letter was dated October 1 and sent to the AG’s human resources director. Scott Braddock, editor of the Quorum Report, made a copy of the letter available on his Twitter account.

Specific details to back up the claims were not included with the letter.

A spokesperson for Paxton said, “The complaint filed against Attorney General Paxton was done to impede an ongoing investigation into criminal wrongdoing by public officials including employees of this office.”

“Making false claims is a very serious matter and we plan to investigate this to the fullest extent of the law,” the spokesperson also said.

The Texas Tribune reported on Saturday, “Michelle Lee, a public affairs officer for the FBI, declined to comment on the matter, citing internal policy within the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice not to comment on the existence of pending or potential investigations.”

The Texas Tribune also reported that the Travis County Criminal District Attorney had no investigation.

The full text of the letter is copied below:

October 1, 2020

Dear Mr. Simpson:

This letter is intended to serve as notice to the Office of the Attorney General that on September 30, 2020, we, the undersigned individuals, reported to an appropriate law enforcement authority a potential violation of law committed by Warren K. Paxton, Jr., in his official capacity as the current Attorney General of Texas. We have a good faith belief that the Attorney General is violating federal and/or state law, including prohibitions relating to improper influence, abuse of office, bribery, and other potential criminal offenses. Each signatory below has knowledge of facts relevant to these potential offenses and has provided statements concerning those facts to the appropriate law enforcement authority. Additionally, today, October 1, 2020, the undersigned notified the Attorney General via text message that they have reported the violations to the appropriate law enforcement authority. A copy of the text message is attached hereto.

Sincerely

Jeffrey C. Mateer
First Assistant Attorney General

Ryan L. Bangert
Deputy First Assistant Attorney General

James Blake Brickman Deputy
Attorney General for Policy & Strategy Initiatives

Lacey E. Mase
Deputy Attorney General for Administration

Darren L. McCarty
Deputy Attorney General for Civil Litigation

J. Mark Penley
Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice

Ryan M. Vassar
Attorney General for Legal Counsel

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