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Photo: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, 2015. Photo: Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images

Seven aides to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton have asked federal authorities to investigate their boss, alleging "improper influence, abuse of office, bribery, and other potential criminal offenses," the Austin American-Statesman reports.

Details: A letter, dated Oct. 1 and signed by the seven aides, does not contain specific allegations, but it is a significant complaint coming from Paxton's closest deputies.

  • The attorney general, a staunch conservative who is leading the lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act that's headed to the Supreme Court, is already under indictment for securities fraud, according to the American-Statesman.

The letter was signed by Jeff Mateer, Paxton's first assistant attorney general who resigned this week, his deputy and others who were in Paxton's inner circle. Mateer was nominated by President Trump in 2017 for a federal judgeship but later dropped by the White House after fierce opposition from Democrats and gay rights activists.

  • The group says in the letter they notified Paxton by text message that they were making the complaint.

The other side: "The complaint filed against Attorney General Paxton was done to impede an ongoing investigation into criminal wrongdoing by public officials including employees of this office," Paxton's office said in a statement.

  • "Making false claims is a very serious matter and we plan to investigate this to the fullest extent of the law," the statement added.

Go deeper

State antitrust suits pile on Google

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

State attorneys-general have opened two new fronts in the legal war on Google: A Texas-led lawsuit targeted the company's advertising business Wednesday, and another suit Thursday led by Colorado and Nebraska is expected to take aim at Google's search practices.

Why it matters: The antitrust complaints, following an October suit by the Justice Department, set up the internet's dominant search and advertising powerhouse for what's likely to be years of conflict in multiple courts.

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Winter view from Charlotte as winter storm Izzy creates dangerous conditions in Charlotte, N.C. on Jan. 16. Photo: Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A major winter storm was lashing much of the East Coast on Sunday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The big picture: Heavy snow and ice accumulations were "likely to produce hazardous travel," downed trees and more outages from the Mid-South to the Northeast, per the National Weather Service. Some parts of the U.S. can expect to see up to a foot of snow through Monday.

Updated 7 hours ago - Science

Volcanic eruption in Tonga caused "significant" damage

This satellite image of the eruption on Jan. 15 taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite operated by Japan Meteorological Agency and released by National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). Photo: NICT via AP

Significant damage has been reported in Tonga following an undersea volcanic eruption on Saturday, which covered the Pacific nation in ash and cut off communication lines.

Driving the news: The eruption triggered tsunami warnings across Tonga's islands and in other regions, including the West Coast of the U.S. and New Zealand, which were later lifted.