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Texas Supreme Court Grants Throws Lifeline to AG Ken Paxton in Whistleblower Lawsuit

Ken Paxton Mugshot

The Texas Supreme Court has intervened in the ongoing whistleblower lawsuit against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, granting him a last-minute reprieve from a scheduled deposition. This decision came just a day before Paxton was due to face challenging questions under oath, according to Law & Crime.

Paxton, a Republican who faced impeachment and subsequent acquittal over alleged official misconduct, has been embroiled in a legal battle initiated by four of his former top officials. These officials, including Mark Penley, Blake Brickman, Ryan Vassar, and David Maxwell, filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against Paxton in November 2020, accusing him of bribery and other crimes.

The lawsuit centers around allegations that real estate investor and Paxton donor, Natin “Nate” Paul, improperly influenced the attorney general. Paul, who was indicted on financial fraud charges, faces up to 30 years in prison. Paxton was accused of granting undue influence to Paul, using the attorney general’s office for Paul’s benefit.

Despite these allegations, Paxton maintains his innocence, arguing that his reelection by voters should negate the impeachment process. His acquittal in the impeachment trial did not put an end to the whistleblower lawsuit. A Travis County judge had previously ordered Paxton to participate in a deposition on Jan. 19, but the Texas Supreme Court’s latest ruling has temporarily blocked this requirement.

Paxton’s defense contended that he should not be deposed as he no longer intends to dispute the whistleblowers’ allegations and is willing to accept any judgment against him.

The Texas Supreme Court’s decision is temporary, and the plaintiffs’ attorneys have until Feb. 29 to present their arguments as to why Paxton should be compelled to undergo questioning under oath. This development adds another layer of complexity to a case that has captured significant public and political attention in Texas.