Jun 10, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Reports: Texas bar association investigating state AG Ken Paxton

Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 27, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton at the Conservative Political Action Conference held in Orlando, Florida, in February. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is under investigation for possible professional misconduct by the state's bar association for his attempts to have President Biden's election win overturned, AP first reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: Paxton is one of the most high-profile lawyers to face potential professional repercussions for using their role to try and help former President Trump in his efforts to have the election results changed, AP notes.

  • Paxton was already facing a separate investigation by the FBI and securities fraud charges — matters which his Republican Primary challenger George P. Bush has been highlighting as part of his attempts to unseat him in 2022. Paxton has denied any wrongdoing in the cases.
  • Pending the outcome of the bar's review, Paxton "could be cleared or face penalties, including suspension or disbarment," the Washington Post notes.

Driving the news: The State Bar of Texas is examining whether Paxton made "false or misleading statements to a court or filed a frivolous lawsuit" when he contested Biden's wins in the battleground states of Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania with baseless claims that Trump "lost because of fraud," per WashPost.

  • The regulatory body had initially dismissed the original complaint from Galveston Island Democrats president Kevin Moran, but an appeals board last month asked the bar to launch an investigation, according to multiple reports.

What they're saying: Moran told AP that Paxton should lose his license to practice law because of the attempt.

  • "He wanted to disenfranchise the voters in four other states," Moran said. "It's just crazy."

What's next: Paxton was given less than a month to reply to Moran's complaint, according to AP, citing a June 3 letter from the bar.

  • Paxton and the bar did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Flashback: Supreme Court rejects Texas lawsuit challenging swing-state election results

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