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Ken Paxton Impeachment Trial Making of Making Outrageous Behavior and Abuse of Authority

Abuse of power occurs when an individual or group with a position of authority uses their power in a way that is harmful, unethical, or illegal (Source: Shutterstock)

The former senior prosecutor said top authorities sought to prevent Ken Paxton from making an “outrageous” mistake by collaborating with real estate entrepreneur Nate Paul in 2020.

Impeachment trial of Ken Paxton (Source: NBC DFW)

Paxton’s Abuse of Authority Towards Nate Paul Legal Violations

In the state Senate impeachment trial on Monday, Mark Penley, the attorney general’s former criminal justice deputy, testified that he and seven other employees went to the FBI on Sept. 30, 2020, because they were powerless to stop Paxton from misusing state resources and wanted to avoid unflattering allegations. “The department was abused, the laws were abused, and the attorney general of Texas displayed outrageous behavior,” Penley said she would do it again because it was the correct thing to do and the only thing they could do other than watch crimes unfold.

For over four hours, Penley and seven attorney general office officials informed the FBI about their encounters with Paxton and why they were concerned about Paul’s ethical and legal violations. Penley worried about being fired. They understood their actions were dangerous, odd, and foolish. No one else could stop it, they tried.

Penley says it’s common for first-time offenders to not provide evidence when confronted by law enforcement. His issues with Paxton began in late 2019 when Paxton asked him to explain why he believed the government had harmed him. The FBI searched Paul’s home but found no narcotics or firearms, and Paul claims they changed the warrant to look for records. Paxton supported Paul’s request, which is unusual and possibly illegal for a state attorney general. He agreed with Paul that they were victims of police brutality and expressed a lack of trust in law enforcement. This negative attitude toward law enforcement was not helpful to Penley.

READ ALSO: Cara Rintala Murder Trial: 3 Jurors Chosen for The 4th Murder Trial in Hampshire Superior Court

Paxton Faces Impeachment Trial for Corruption and Abuse of Authority

Paxton hired Brandon Cammack, a private attorney, to investigate the FBI for the attorney general’s office and planned to pay him $50,000 in state funds within the first two weeks. Paxton assumed responsibility for the investigation when Penley declined to finance or superintend Cammack’s private enterprises. Cammack promptly subpoenaed two area banks for FBI Paul probe material. He added that Penley and the other whistleblowers were astonished by the private attorney’s decision to issue criminal subpoenas in a civil case.

“I was even more amused.” Penley was enraged that the attorney general had let it happen. “Everyone was neglected by the attorney general. He set Mr. Cammack free. We had no clue what Mr. Cammack was going to do. Mr. Paul appeared to be in command.” When Penley declined to authorize the state’s legal expenditure reimbursement for Cammack, Paxton became enraged.

“He said, ‘You don’t know what it feels like to be the target of a corrupt law enforcement investigation,'” Penley said Paxton told him. “I spent $50,000 on my case, etc.” According to Penley, Paxton also chastised the Texas DPS for their “corrupt” securities fraud investigation. Penley stated that his distrust of law enforcement motivated him to back Paul, who claimed police victimization. Penley was the sixth witness to testify since the trial began on September 5. Paxton is facing 16 articles of impeachment for corruption and other abuses of authority, which will be decided by the Senate later this week. Paxton has rejected all charges.

READ ALSO: Fort Campbell Murder Trial: Santiago Found Guilty of Murdering Pregnant Wife 

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