Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) suggested on Thursday that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) may have filed a lawsuit to the Supreme Court seeking to overturn the election results in four swing states in an effort to obtain a pardon from President Donald Trump.
The Associated Press reported in November that Paxton is under investigation by the FBI over allegations that he abused his office in an effort to benefit a wealthy donor. That investigation came after seven senior staff members under the attorney general urged federal law enforcement in an open letter in early October to “investigate allegations [against Paxton] of improper influence, abuse of office, bribery and other potential crimes.”
“I’m no lawyer, but I suspect the Supreme Court swats this away. From the brief, it looks like a fella begging for a pardon filed a PR stunt rather than a lawsuit—as all of the assertions have already been rejected by federal courts and Texas’ own solicitor general isn’t signing on,” Sasse told The Washington Examiner on Thursday, commenting on the long-shot effort to overturn the election results in the four battleground states to benefit Trump.
Newsweek noted that “Legal experts have widely panned the lawsuit,” and other prominent Republicans besides Sasse have publicly said Paxton’s effort is likely to be shot down by the nation’s highest court.
Even Texas GOP Senator Jon Cornyn criticized the legal theory behind Paxton’s lawsuit. “Number one, why would a state, even such a great state as Texas, have a say-so on how other states administer their elections?” Cornyn told CNN. “We have a diffused and dispersed system, and even though we might not like it, they may think it’s unfair, those (election policies) are decided at the state and local level and not at the national level.”
“I think there’s no basis for it. I don’t think the Supreme Court, for an instant, will consider taking up this case,” Ben Ginsberg, a Republican lawyer who aided former President George W. Bush‘s successful post-election legal battle in 2000, told CNN on Wednesday. “What it shows you, I think… is that how far the Republican Party has sort of corroded in basic beliefs under Donald Trump in this area.”
Image credit: Screengrab / Senator Ben Sasse / YouTube