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Former Attorney General Paxton’s trial moves to Houston

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2023 | Firm News |

The past eight years have been controversial ones for former Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. This week, a court ruled that his impending trial for fraud can proceed to Harris County. This decision concludes the end of considerable effort on Paxton’s part to keep the trial in Collin County.

A long fight over location

In 2017, prosecutors successfully petitioned to have the trial removed from Collin County. His wife, Angela Paxton, is a state senator representing the district there. Mr. Paxton also has widespread support from constituents in the area, as he formerly served as a representative for the Texas House and then for the Texas Senate. In 2020, though, Paxton’s counsel succeeded in moving the trial back to it. This week, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals – the highest criminal court in the state – upheld the lower court’s original decision to hold the trial in Harris County.

The charges against Paxton

Mr. Paxton stands accused of defrauding the investors of a technology company. In 2011, he received payments from a startup called Servergy Inc. to promote its stock. However, he allegedly failed to disclose this information to potential investors. He faces up to 99 years in federal prison if convicted.

In addition to his criminal fraud trial, Mr. Paxton faces an impeachment trial that will likely take place in August. In May, the state House ruled to impeach the then-attorney general – a historic decision that brought widespread controversy from his supporters and praise from his opponents.

What the trial means for Texas

The criminal trial as well as the impeachment trial will have implications far beyond the courtrooms. The proceedings against Paxton have stirred up political tension throughout the state, with liberals largely supporting his prosecution and conservatives opposing it. The results could be felt as far ahead as the 2024 primary election in the spring and the general election next fall, when Texas voters will cast ballots for the state governor and the U.S. Senate, House, and Presidency.



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