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Judge rejects attempts to toss indictments against Texas AG Ken Paxton, keeps April trial on course

Julia Reihs

HOUSTON — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton remains on track to be tried for felony fraud this spring after the presiding judge shot down his attempts to have the charges thrown out.

During a court hearing in Houston on Friday, Harris County District Court Judge Andrea Beall rejected Paxton’s arguments that his right to a speedy trial had been violated.

Beall’s decision means that, barring another unexpected delay, Paxton’s trials will kick off on April 15. The proceedings are much anticipated; Paxton has been under active indictment for nearly nine years.

Paxton sat quietly through the hearing.

The indictments, which came just months into his first term as attorney general, dogged Paxton for years. The cases were repeatedly delayed as the sides fought over how much the prosecutors should be paid, what judge should preside and where the trial should be held.

The cases did not slow Paxton’s political rise. Hitching his star to Donald Trump, Paxton has become one of the most recognizable state attorneys general in the country known for fighting against abortion access and LGBTQ rights and for tougher border security and immigration policies.

Paxton has also encountered repeated corruption allegations. In addition to the securities fraud indictments, he was impeached last year for allegedly swapping political favors with a campaign donor. Paxton beat those charges after a Senate trial.

But the Office of the Attorney General, the state agency Paxton leads, still faces a whistleblower lawsuit brought by the individuals whose allegations prompted his impeachment. Paxton is also being sued by a State Bar of Texas disciplinary panel about his role challenging the 2020 presidential election results.

Copyright 2024 KUT News. To see more, visit KUT News.

Lauren McGaughy