Saturday, May 7, 2022

TX Bar Lawsuit To Discipline AG Paxton And His Top Aide For Overturn 2020 Election Attempt

The Texas State Bar, has filed a Lawsuit in Williamson County District Court against First Assistant Attorney General Brent Webster, for his involvement in the State’s Lawsuit seeking to Overturn the Results of the 2020 Election, alleging Webster committed Professional Misconduct by making False and Misleading Statements in the Petition.

A similar Disciplinary Lawsuit is expected against Attorney General Ken Paxton, who Reiterated Friday, his Contention that the group is Targeting him because it Disagrees with his Politics. As of Friday afternoon, No Suit had been filed.

Texas’ 2020 Lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court was almost immediately Tossed, and Trump’s own Justice Department (DOJ) found No Evidence of Fraud that could have changed the Election’s outcome. The Bar is treating the Case as a Frivolous Lawsuit as it seeks Sanctions including possible Disbarment for the Two Public Officials.

“I stand by this lawsuit completely,” Paxton said on Twitter. “I am certain that the bar will not only lose, but be fully exposed for what they are: a liberal activist group masquerading as a neutral professional association.”

Then-Solicitor General Kyle Hawkins, the State’s Chief Litigator, who Resigned about a month after the Election Challenge was Tossed, was notably Absent from the Filing, though Hawkins never explained why, raising Questions about whether he supported the Legal Challenge. Solicitor Generals are typically involved in all Major Appellate Litigation.

The Bar, which is a branch of the Texas Supreme Court, said in a Statement that “partisan political considerations play no role” in its Actions. State law Prohibits it from Discussing Investigations unless a Public Complaint is filed.

In bringing a Court Action against an Attorney, the Bar can seek Punishment ranging from a Written Admonition, to Suspension, or Disbarment. The Discipline Process resembles a Trial, and could include both sides taking Testimony, and obtaining Records through Discovery.

The Bar Complaints against Webster, and possibly Paxton, alleged that their Petition to Overturn the 2020 Election was Frivolous and Unethical, and that it includes Statements that they knew to be False. In Webster’s Case, it is clear that the Bar agrees.

“Respondent’s representations were dishonest,” the Lawsuit states. “His allegations were not supported by any charge, indictment, judicial finding, and/or credible or admissible evidence, and failed to disclose to the court that some of his representations and allegations had already been adjudicated and/or dismissed in a court of law.”

The Suit also alleges that Webster “misrepresented” that Texas had “uncovered substantial evidence,” raising Doubts about the Integrity of the Election, and had Standing to Sue before the U.S. Supreme Court. The Four battleground States that Texas Sued: Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, were then forced to have to spend Time, Money, and other Resources responding to these Claims, it said.

The Lawsuit against Webster was sparked by a March 2021 Complaint by Brynne VanHettinga, a former Member of the Bar, who described herself as a “citizen concerned about fascism and illegal overthrow of democracy.”

Paxton has long expected the Bar to take action against himself, accusing the Bar of timing its Lawsuit to hurt his chances in the Republican Primary. Paxton faces a May 24th Republican Primary Runoff against State Land Commissioner George P. Bush. But much of the Timeline for the Bar’s Disciplinary Action is dictated by State Rules.

A Two-Term Incumbent, Paxton drew an unusual number of Primary Challenges, after Eight of his Top Deputies told the FBI in 2020, that the AG had been using his Office to benefit a Wealth Donor. They accused him of Bribery, Abuse of Office, and other Crimes prompting an ongoing Federal Investigation. Paxton has Denied wrongdoing and separately pleaded Not Guilty in a State Securities Fraud case that has Languished since 2015.

Under the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure, Paxton would have been given the choice to either Request the Case be heard by a District Court, where Proceedings are Public, or by an Evidentiary Panel. Since he appears to have elected the District Court route, the Bar would have then had about 60 days to file a Petition.

Just hours after saying the Bar plans to Sue him, Paxton’s Office announced that it will be Investigating the Texas Bar Foundation for “its possibly aiding and abetting the mass influx of illegal aliens.” The Charitable Group’s Board is partially Appointed by the Bar President.

“The Texas Bar Foundation and the State Bar of Texas are not taxpayer funded,” Trey Apffel, the Bar’s Executive Director, said in a Statement. “The foundation is separately funded through charitable donations and governed by its own board of trustees. While we are unsure what donations are at issue here, we are confident that the foundation’s activities are in line with its mission of enhancing the rule of law and the system of justice in Texas.”

Texas Bar Foundation Chair, Elect Alistair Dawson, in a Statement Condemned Paxton’s Investigation. “The foundation is extremely disappointed to learn that AG Paxton has decided to use taxpayer dollars on a fruitless exercise,” Dawson said. “Had AG Paxton taken the time to come and speak with us rather than issue a press release, I am confident that he would have found no wrongdoing on the part of the foundation. Nevertheless, the foundation is happy to cooperate.”

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

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