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7 Aides to State AG Say He's Breaking the Law

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has a new problem on his plate
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2020 1:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – Bad news for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton: Several of his top aides are asking the feds to investigate him for alleged crimes including abuse of office and bribery, KVUE reports. "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," they write in a letter to the state agency's director of human resources. The accusers—who include Paxton's former first assistant, Jeff Mateer, and five deputy attorneys general—give no details about the AG's alleged conduct. Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday the allegations "raise serious concerns" but he'll "withhold further comment until the results of any investigation are complete."

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Mateer, a fellow Christian conservative and political ally to Paxton, may be the letter's most important signatory. After all, Paxton praised Mateer in 2017 as "a principled leader—a man of character—who has done an outstanding job for the state of Texas" when Mateer was tapped by President Trump to be a federal judge, the Austin American-Statesman reports. Mateer's nomination was later rescinded when his anti-LGBT comments emerged, including remarks about transgender kids being part of "Satan's plan." Mateer resigned his job with Paxton on Friday. Meanwhile, Paxton faces felony indictments dating back to his private business deals in 2011 and 2012. He denies the charges, and criminal proceedings remain tied up in appeals and other legal squabbles. (Paxton's office appeared to play a role in Chick-fil-A getting a lease in San Antonio.)

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