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Indicted Texas AG accused of 'begging for a pardon' with 'stunt' to please Trump

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is asking the Supreme Court to throw out the results of the presidential election while he faces multiple legal troubles of his own.

By Emily Singer - December 10, 2020
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Ken Paxton

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) on Thursday accused Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton — who filed a lawsuit asking the Supreme Court to overturn Donald Trump’s election loss in four states — of waging the legal battle in order to secure a pardon from Trump.

“I’m no lawyer, but I suspect the Supreme Court swats this away,” Sasse said of the lawsuit in a statement to the Washington Examiner. “From the brief, it looks like a fella begging for a pardon filed a PR stunt rather than a lawsuit — as all of its assertions have already been rejected by federal courts and Texas’ own solicitor general isn’t signing on.”

Paxton is a Trump ally and the top law enforcement officer of Texas.

He also faces a litany of personal legal troubles.

He’s been under indictment for five years for alleged securities fraud. And he’s currently under federal investigation in a separate matter, after former aides accused Paxton of committing bribery and abusing the office of the attorney general to benefit his wealthy political donors, the Associated Press reported on Nov. 17.

As Sasse said, the Supreme Court is unlikely to rule in favor of Paxton’s lawsuit.

However, Trump has praised Paxton’s lawsuit, calling it “the big one” and thanking Texas and the 17 GOP attorneys general who support its lie-filled lawsuit for filing it.

Even though Trump is fighting to overturn the election results, he’s reportedly planning a spate of pardons for his family and allies in the coming weeks — a sign he knows he will no longer be president come Jan. 20, 2020, even as he refuses to publicly admit it.

Paxton said Wednesday he did not discuss a pardon with Trump, according to a report from a Texas television station.

However, Paxton is scheduled to have lunch with Trump on Thursday afternoon, along with other GOP attorneys general who are backing his anti-democratic lawsuit.

Trump, for his part, has rewarded those who have been loyal to him with pardons or commutations.

For example:

  • He commuted the sentence of longtime ally and loyalist Roger Stone, who had been sentenced to three years and four months in prison for lying to Congress, witness tampering, and obstructing the House investigation into Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.
  • He issued a wide-reaching pardon to his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with a now-former Russian ambassador. The Department of Justice had been trying to drop the charges against Flynn, despite his guilty plea, but Trump stepped in to give a broad pardon to Flynn of “any and all possible offenses” stemming from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation — essentially granting a preemptive pardon for any crimes with which Flynn has not yet been charged.
  • He pardoned Joe Arpaio, the overtly racist former Maricopa County sheriff who was one of the first elected officials to endorse Trump’s presidential bid in 2016. Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt of court, after he refused to stop racially profiling Hispanic residents, despite being ordered to by a judge.
  • He commuted the sentence of Rod Blagojevich, the former Illinois governor whose wife went on a public flattery campaign of Trump to help earn the commutation. Blagojevich was serving a long prison sentence for trying to sell the Senate seat former President Barack Obama vacated when he took office in 2009.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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