After a whirlwind news weekend highlighting discord within Texas’ Office of the Attorney General (OAG), Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX-21) has called for Attorney General Ken Paxton’s resignation.
“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’s statement reads.
Roy further added, “The work of the Office of the Attorney General of Texas is too critical to the state and her people to leave in chaos and to risk the work of over 700 lawyers managing almost 30,000 legal cases at any given moment, including major cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as processing over $4 Billion in Child Support. The Attorney General deserves his days in court, but the people of Texas deserve a fully functioning AG’s office.”
Roy was Paxton’s first assistant attorney general in 2015 when he originally assumed the office.
Over the weekend, KVUE and the Austin-American Statesman broke news that seven top aides within the OAG have requested a federal investigation into Paxton, alleging bribery and abuse of office.
This came after a surprise resignation from Paxton’s first assistant attorney general, Jeff Mateer, on Friday.
Paxton’s office issued a statement following the allegations, asserting, “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.”
According to Roy’s response, that statement caused him to call for Paxton’s resignation.
“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. 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,” Roy concluded.
Roy is the first Republican official in Texas to explicitly call for Paxton’s resignation.
Paxton issued a statement thereafter saying he will not resign.
“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.”
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include the statement from AG Paxton.
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Brad Johnson is an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad watching and quoting Monty Python productions.