Didn’t See That Coming: Ken Paxton Concludes Ken Paxton Not Guilty of Any Crimes

AUSTIN, Texas — Tuesday morning, surprising no one, Ken Paxton’s office released a report finding that Ken Paxton didn’t commit a crime, as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged abuse of office by the beleaguered Texas Attorney General. While the glaring conflict of interest here might give us pause, Texans can be comforted in knowing that the actual FBI investigation is ongoing. Paxton’s self-exoneration is thus little more than a misguided PR move, and another addition to the long and growing list of examples of Paxton’s corruption.

The self-exonerated Paxton has been under FBI investigation since November 2020, when seven whistleblowing staff resigned or were fired over allegations that Paxton was abusing the power of his office and conducting illegal quid-pro-quo dealings with a political donor. When it comes to Paxton’s possible criminal conduct, however, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Paxton has since been accused of using his office to give preferential treatment to a different political donor, flouted public records rules by refusing to release records of officials’ conversations during the January 6 insurrection, and has been under indictment for securities fraud since 2015 (i.e. for nearly his entire tenure as Attorney General).

Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:

“Today, after fully investigating himself in a conflict of interest the size of Texas, Ken Paxton declared himself not guilty of abuse of office. Our disgraced attorney general has been under indictment for fraud since 2015, under FBI investigation since last November, and has faced a maelstrom of abuse of office allegations from seven different whistleblowers formerly on his staff. Today’s self-exoneration proves nothing, except that Paxton clearly thinks Texans were born yesterday.

“This is the kind of corruption we’ve come to expect from Texas Republicans. Greg Abbott took a million dollar donation from an energy donor who made billions off February’s power outages, and now he’s helping a pharmaceutical company make money off Texans getting COVID-19. Paxton has hopped from shady dealing to shady dealing for the entirety of his time as AG. Do they really think their corruption is going unnoticed? Texans are straight shooters. Our Republican leaders are not. We deserve leaders who show us the respect of playing by the rules. Texas Democrats look forward to finally making that a reality by kicking Paxton and Abbott out in 2022.”