Texas AG Paxton’s affair explains crimes, former aide says at impeachment – National & International News – WED 6Sept2023

Texas Attorney General’s affair explains crimes, former aide says at impeachment.

McConnell vows to continue as Leader and finish Senate term despite health concerns.


Texas Attorney General’s affair explains crimes, former aide says at impeachment

In Texas, an impeachment trial is proceeding in the state senate against the state’s ultra-conservative Attorney General Ken Paxton. During Paxton’s time as AG, he has built a brand on espousing conservative causes, notably by targeting the LGBT community, ruthlessly enforcing the state’s strict abortion policies providers and filing federal lawsuits challenging Biden administration policies.

Paxton also pushed for removing and charging any district attorney who refuses to prosecute state crimes related to abortion. But it is Paxton’s own staunchly conservative aides who are testifying in the senate that Paxton also tried to shield a donor from consequences for his crimes. In 2020, seven of Paxton’s aides filed ethics complaints against Paxton for corruption, bribery and abuse of office. These actions arose from Paxton’s relationship with Austin developer Nate Paul, who had just so happened to be the employer of Paxton’s affair partner.

It’s not clear when Paxton, who is married to state senator Angela Paxton, began the affair. In 2018, he brought his staff together and, with his wife present, confessed to the affair and recommitted to his marriage. But the affair didn’t end there. In fact, Nate Paul has stated in a deposition that he had hired Paxton’s lover to work for him at Paxton’s suggestion. Paul also helped Paxton to conceal the affair, and, it’s alleged, footed the bill for improvements at Paxton’s home.

When Paul was being investigated for fraud by the FBI, Paxton instructed his underlings not to cooperate with the feds, and even hired an outside attorney to investigate Paul’s accusation that there was a conspiracy against him. When members of Paxton’s staff confronted him about the abuse of power, Paxton fired them.

During the impeachment trial today, Jeff Mateer, Paxton’s former number two, said staffers were perplexed at Paxton’s apparent obsession with shielding Paul. Mateer said when learned of Paul’s connection with Paxton’s lover, “it answered the ‘why’ question”.

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McConnell vows to continue as Leader and finish Senate term despite health concerns

Twice in less than a month, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) suffered alarming “freezing” spells in front of cameras. McConnell, 81, suffered a severe concussion after a fall in March. After the first freezing spell, McConnell’s office revealed that he’d suffered other falls since March and that he was sometimes using a wheelchair to get around.

Following the second freeze episode last week, the Capitol physician issued a statement say he’d “cleared” McConnell to continue working. Earlier this week, the same physician said that there were no signs McConnell had suffered a stroke, seizure or trans ischemic attack. The doctor said he’d also ruled out Parkinson’s disease. Even with the litany of things McConnell supposedly isn’t suffering from, there’s been no clarity from anyone about what he is suffering from.

Despite concerns and some calls for McConnell to resign as leader, most Republicans in the Senate are standing behind him. McConnell said today that he intended to continue as Leader and would serve out his term, which ends in 2027. These health crises come at a delicate moment in Washington as battle lines are being drawn on a new spending bill. If there’s no agreement by the end of the month, the country could face a government shutdown. 

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