Texas man at center of Attorney General Paxton’s impeachment faces federal charges

By Brad Brooks

(Reuters) – Federal prosecutors on Friday brought charges of making false statements to financial institutions against a real estate developer who is at the center of allegations that led to the dismissal of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

A grand jury has indicted Nate Paul, 36, on eight counts of making false statements to lenders based in Texas, New York, Connecticut and Ireland to secure $172 million in home loans in 2017 and 2018.

Paul, who was arrested by the FBI on Thursday and jailed overnight, appeared briefly before a federal judge in Austin on Friday. He pleaded not guilty and was granted bail. He is due to appear on June 15. His attorney, Gerry Morris, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Paxton was not mentioned in Paul’s indictment, and Morris told reporters after the hearing that the case against his client did not involve Paxton.

Paxton, a supporter of former President Donald Trump whose lawsuit challenging the 2020 election results was dismissed by the Supreme Court, was impeached by state lawmakers on May 27 and temporarily suspended from office pending his trial in the Senate.

The articles of arraignment against him accuse Paxton of involving employees of the Attorney General’s office in a lawsuit against Paul, of helping the promoter obtain information about the FBI’s investigation against him and of providing legal favors to Paul in exchange for renovating Paxton’s house. .

Paxton, 60, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. Along with his impeachment, he faces a separate corruption investigation by the Justice Department, according to Texas special prosecutors leading his state case.

The Texas Senate will try Paxton on the 20 articles of impeachment filed against him no later than August 28.

(Reporting by Brad Brooks in Lubbock, Texas; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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