Apr 13, 2024  |  
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Brady Knox, Breaking News Reporter

NextImg:Ken Paxton attorneys file two motions with Texas Senate just before deadline

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's attorneys filed two motions to the state Senate just before the deadline.

Shortly before the Saturday deadline, Paxton's attorneys filed a motion to dismiss what they argue is inadmissible evidence and to dismiss Article V, the Disregard of Official Duty. The embattled attorney general's attorneys had previously filed motions to dismiss 19 articles of impeachment, bar three Democrats as jurors, and exclude evidence they argued was inadmissible, among other motions.


Suspended Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sits as he makes an appearance in the Harris County Courthouse on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023 in Houston. Paxton's years-delayed trial on securities fraud charges will have to wait until his separate impeachment trial is concluded, lawyers and the judge in the case said Thursday. (Elizabeth Conley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Paxton's attorneys argued that a $25,000 donation to Paxton's campaign from Natin “Nate” Paul in October 2018, presented by the Investigative Committee, is irrelevant and inadmissible evidence.

The contribution, they argued, is “not within the scope of admissible evidence. To the extent House Managers intend to offer evidence of this or any other campaign contribution, this Court should exclude that evidence. The Court should also prevent any reference to, testimony of, or argument about such evidence at trial.”

To admit such evidence would allow prosecutors to utilize "abusive trial tactics," they continued.

“Admission of campaign-donation evidence could create a false impression that money was exchanged for some official act — alleged acts that even the House’s false accusations place two years in the future from the time of the contribution — even though such an exchange never occurred, and even though the House has no evidence that it did,” the motion read. “Yet if admitted, this evidence will allow Members of the Court to entertain the Managers’ unsupported theories, essentially letting the House 'prove' its allegations based on nothing more than rumors and innuendo. The Texas Rules of Evidence unequivocally bar such abusive trial tactics.”

The second motion moved to dismiss the charge that Paxton committed an official disregard of duty under Article V by allegedly engaging in a "baseless complaint" to the benefit of Paul. His attorneys argued that the charge is completely unprecedented in 500 years of English and American parliamentary procedure and isn't an impeachable offense.

“No legislature sitting as a court of impeachment has ever suggested that an elected official’s formation of an employment contract with a subordinate attorney — even if other subordinates disagree with how or why that contract was formed — rises to the level of a ‘grave official wrong,’” the attorneys wrote.

“Whether the product of a slapdash investigation, a basic misunderstanding of Texas law, or both, Attorney General Paxton is entitled to acquittal as a matter of law on Article V," they added. "This Court should accordingly dismiss it.”


Friday's last-minute filing capped a week of activity for Paxton fighting to beat impeachment for allegations of bribery, abuse of power, and retaliation against whistleblowers.

On Monday, the embattled attorney general's lawyers argued 19 of the 20 charges against him should be thrown out because voters knew about the allegations before they elected him to his position, and, his attorneys argued, Paxton can't be impeached for actions he took before he took office.