Securities Fraud Charges Dropped Against Texas AG Ken Paxton

On Tuesday, prosecutors announced that they were dropping securities fraud charges against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R-Texas), in yet another victory for the embattled attorney general.

As Politico reports, Paxton was first indicted on these charges in 2015, when he was accused of fooling investors in a Dallas-based tech startup shortly before he was elected. If he had been found guilty, he could have faced a sentence of life in prison; the trial had been set to start on April 15th.

But under the new 18-month pre-trial agreement, prosecutors agreed to drop three of the felony counts against Paxton. In return, Paxton must agree to pay full restitution to the victims, to the tune of about $300,000; he must also complete 100 hours of community service and 15 hours of education in legal ethics.

The agreement means that Paxton can ultimately remain in office and will retain his law license.

Late last year, Paxton faced an impeachment in the Texas Legislature on charges of corruption. Although impeachment passed in the State House with sizable support from Republicans, he was ultimately acquitted in the State Senate. Paxton subsequently went on a campaign of endorsing primary challengers to many incumbent State Representatives who voted in favor of his impeachment, which led to over half a dozen incumbents losing their primaries this March, and even more incumbents being forced to runoff primary elections scheduled for May.

Paxton also endorsed challengers to three judges on the state Court of Criminal Appeals who ruled that his office no longer had the authority to prosecute election fraud in the aftermath of the 2020 election. All three of his endorsed challengers went on to defeat the incumbents.

The 61-year-old attorney general continues to receive strong support from former President Donald Trump, and there has been speculation that he may run for a higher office; Paxton himself has refused to rule out the possibility of running for the U.S. Senate in 2026, where he would challenge incumbent Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas).

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.