U.S. Representative Chip Roy (R-TX) called on Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to resign following a resignation of his first assistant and allegations of wrongdoing by top members of his staff. Roy previously served under Paxton as his first assistant.
“For the good of the people of Texas and the extraordinary public servants who serve at the Office of the Attorney General, Attorney General Ken Paxton must resign,” Roy said in a written statement. “The allegations of bribery, abuse of office, and other charges levied against him by at least 7 senior leaders of the Office of the Attorney General are more than troubling on the merits.”
For the good of the people of Texas and the extraordinary public servants who serve at the Office of the Attorney…
Paxton’s current first assistant and six other top leaders of the Office of the Attorney General of Texas (TXOAG) signed a letter addressed to the agency’s human resource director dated October 1, the Austin American-Statesman reported on Sunday. Their letter claims they have “a good faith belief that the Attorney General is violating federal and/or state law, including prohibitions relating to improper influence, abuse of office, bribery, and other potential criminal offenses.” The signers of the letter said they have provided statements of facts to the “appropriate law enforcement authority.”
The letter containing the allegations against Attorney General Paxton is signed by Jeffrey C. Mateer, First Assistant Attorney General; Ryan L. Bangert, Deputy First Assistant Attorney General; James Blake Brickman, Deputy Attorney General for Policy; Lacey E. Mase, Deputy Attorney General for Administration; Darren L. McCarty, Deputy Attorney General for Civil Litigation; J. Mark Penley, Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice; and Ryan M. Vassar, Deputy Attorney General for Legal Counsel.
Mateer subsequently resigned his position and returned to First Liberty Institute, a non-profit group, where he previously worked before Paxton hired him as first assistant in 2016, the Washington Post reported.
The Office of the Attorney General of Texas issued a statement in response that reads:
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. Making false claims is a very serious matter and we plan to investigate this to the fullest extent of the law.
Attorney General Paxton issued a personal statement on Monday that expanded on the previous statement:
The Texas attorney general’s office was referred a case from Travis county regarding allegations of crimes relating to the FBI, other government agencies and individuals. My obligation as attorney general is to conduct an investigation upon such referral. Because employees from my office impeded the investigation and because I knew Nate Paul I ultimately decided to hire an outside independent prosecutor to make his own independent determination. Despite the effort by rogue employees and their false allegations I will continue to seek justice in Texas and will not be resigning.
Representative Roy responded to the statement from the attorney general, adding, “But, any grace for him to resolve differences and demonstrate if the allegations are false was eliminated by his choice instead to attack the very people entrusted, by him, to lead the office – some of whom I know well and whose character are beyond reproach.”
Paxton referred to an investigation involving Austin real estate investor Nate Paul. The Houston Chronicle reported on Sunday. The Houston newspaper reported the FBI raided Paul’s office last year. The newspaper also reported Paul contributed $20,000 to Paxton’s 2018 re-election campaign.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) weighed in on the allegations made by the resigning officials of the TXOAG on Sunday, saying, “These allegations raise serious concerns. I will withhold further comment until the results of any investigation are complete.”
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick also called the situation, “obviously concerning,” the Texas Tribune reported. “I will wait until the investigation is complete before making any additional comment,” Patrick said in a written statement.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with an additional statement from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and additional information about the resignation of First Assistant Jeffrey Mateer.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Face