Texas court allows AG Ken Paxton’s securities fraud trial to move to Houston

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The long-delayed trial of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, accused of securities fraud from 2015, will take place in Houston, a court ruled Wednesday, handing the Republican another setback as awaits a separate impeachment trial.

However, it remains unclear when Paxton could finally have his day in court for the felony of defrauding investors in a tech startup.

For now, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld the decision of a judge who originally oversaw the case to move the proceedings out of Paxton’s hometown near Dallas. Paxton has spent years fighting to keep the lawsuit in Collin County, where he maintains broad support among GOP activists and his wife, Angela Paxton, is a state senator.

The decision by Texas’ highest criminal court comes as Paxton faces removal from office following his historic impeachment by the State House in May. A trial in the Texas Senate is expected to begin no later than August.

A lawyer for Paxton did not respond to an email seeking comment on the ruling.

Brian Wice, a special prosecutor who was named in the securities fraud case after Paxton was indicted, applauded the decision.

“We are pleased but not surprised that the Court has recognized that this defendant must be tried before a Harris County jury and a judge who will obey the law,” he said in a statement.

The case is among 20 articles of impeachment the Texas House of Representatives has filed against the state’s top attorney. Other impeachment charges surround Paxton’s relationship with Nate Paul, an Austin real estate developer who was charged with making false statements to banks to secure more than $170 million in loans.

If convicted of the securities fraud charges, Paxton faces up to 99 years in prison.

Leave a Comment