Judge Denies Efforts to Dismiss Indictments Against Texas AG Ken Paxton

Credits: NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is set to face trial for felony fraud this spring, as a judge rejected his attempts to dismiss the charges. The trial, scheduled to begin on April 15, will focus on securities fraud allegations against Paxton, who has pleaded not guilty.

The decision came after a hearing in Houston, where Harris County District Court Judge Andrea Beall ruled that Paxton’s right to a speedy trial had not been violated. The attorney general had argued that delays in the case were due to the prosecution’s efforts to be paid, which have been unsuccessful since 2016.

Special prosecutor Brian Wice, representing the state, welcomed the ruling and pointed fingers at Paxton for the delays, suggesting that the attorney general’s actions were to blame.

Ken Paxton (Credits: NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth)

Paxton is accused of securities fraud related to his involvement with a technology firm and for allegedly steering clients to a friend’s investment advising business without proper registration.

The cases have been delayed over the years due to various reasons, including disputes over payment, changes in venue, and external factors like Hurricane Harvey and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite these legal challenges, Paxton’s political career has not stalled. Known for his conservative stances, he has aligned himself with former President Donald Trump and has been re-elected twice since the indictments were issued. His legal troubles, however, have not abated, as he faces other corruption allegations and ongoing lawsuits.

During the hearing, tensions between Paxton’s defense attorney, Dan Cogdell, and Wice escalated, reflecting the contentious nature of the case.

Cogdell accused the prosecution of causing delays, while Wice criticized Cogdell for his remarks and accused Paxton of enjoying a comfortable lifestyle despite the charges against him.

In a surprising turn, co-prosecutor Kent Schaffer left the prosecution, citing disagreements with Wice over the case’s direction. Schaffer claimed they had reached a deal with Paxton’s team for no prison time or fines in exchange for supervision, but Wice objected, preferring to go to trial.

Schaffer’s departure led to the appointment of Houston-based attorney Jed Silverman as a replacement prosecutor, a move contested by Cogdell. The legal drama surrounding Paxton’s case is set to continue, with another hearing scheduled for March 20 to address any remaining pre-trial issues.

Despite the challenges ahead, Cogdell expressed Paxton’s readiness for trial, indicating that they are prepared to face a jury and defend against the charges.

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