There’s been no shortage of absurd comments and ridiculous suggestions from Republicans following the Supreme Court’s decision which legalized marriage equality in the United States. And when it comes to Republicans acting completely asinine following this ruling, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been one of the leaders of that pack.
At one point, Paxton told clerks issuing marriage licenses in Texas that they could refuse to do so, and the attorneys working for the state would be there to support any punishment or lawsuits they might face as a result of their actions.
Needless to say, a lot of this rhetoric has just been for show. It’s often said by those with bigger political aspirations, simply pandering to the crowds of closed-minded Republican voters they’ll assuredly need to win over if they want to ascend to bigger and better things politically. The bottom line is, there’s absolutely no legal leg to stand on for any of these state officials or politicians who have suggested that states don’t have to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
Well, Paxton might want to move past his “outrage” over same-sex marriage pretty quickly; new information discovered by Texas Rangers might saddle him with a first-degree felony charge linked to securities fraud, which potentially carries with it a sentence of life in prison.
According to WFAA, the ABC affiliate for the Dallas-Fort Worth area:
The criminal investigation against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has taken a more serious turn, with special prosecutors now planning to present a first-degree felony securities fraud case against him to a Collin County grand jury.
Special prosecutor Kent Schaffer said Wednesday afternoon that the Texas Rangers uncovered new evidence during the investigation that led to the securities fraud allegations against the sitting attorney general.
“The Rangers went out to investigate one thing, and they came back with information on something else,” Schaffer said. “It’s turned into something different than when they started.”
According to reports, the securities fraud allegations are in excess of “well over $100,000.”
If a grand jury chooses to indict, Paxton would be facing a first-degree felony charge which carries a possible punishment of life in prison.
Schaffer also indicated that there’s evidence showing that Paxton failed to register as an investment advisor, which would be classified as a third-degree felony.
Last May, Paxton admitted that he had advised a friend’s investment firm, yet wasn’t registered to do so as Texas law requires. He was reprimanded and fined $1,000.
I think it goes without saying that these charges Paxton is potentially facing are much worse than what he dealt with last year. It’s never good when you’re being investigated for one possible crime and investigators find evidence of much larger criminal activity – which seems to be the case with Paxton. And when you start talking about securities fraud in excess of “well over $100,00,” along with a potential third-degree felony riding alongside potential first-degree charges, Paxton might be in a whole mess of trouble.
So, might I suggest Ken Paxton worry less about trying to prove how little he understands our Constitution and more about the two potential felonies and the life in prison he could be facing if he’s indicted and convicted of these crimes.
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