On Thursday, August 3, 2023, Idaho State Journal reported that embattled Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s long-delayed trial on securities fraud charges will be postponed until after his separate impeachment trial is concluded.
Paxton had been suspended from office since his impeachment in May. He had faced charges of defrauding investors in a tech startup by allegedly not disclosing that he was being paid by the company to recruit them. The delay in his trial had been attributed to various factors, including debates over the trial’s location, changes in the presiding judge, and disputes over the compensation for the special prosecutors.
Dan Cogdell, one of Paxton’s attorneys, has asked District Judge Andrea Beall to delay any decision on setting a trial until Paxton’s impeachment, set for September 5, 2023, trial was finished. He had said “What I would request is we come back after that case is resolved” during the hearing. The request had been supported by Brian Wice and Kent Schaffer, the special prosecutors appointed to the case. Beall had agreed to wait to discuss a possible trial date until an October 6, 2023, court hearing.
The postponement of Paxton’s trial came while he was simultaneously confronting potential removal from his position due to impeachment by the Texas House. Cogdell said that the outcome of the impeachment trial was expected to influence the resolution of the securities fraud case, with the possibility of a plea bargain or other settlement options becoming more likely if Paxton lost the impeachment trial. He had said “If Ken prevails (in the impeachment trial), we will go forward. If Ken loses, that’s a kill shot to his political career. So it opens the door for a resolution that’s not open right now.”
Paxton’s trial has been marred by political controversies, and the case has been one of the 20 articles of impeachment brought against him by the Texas House of Representatives. The delay further extended the legal challenges surrounding Paxton’s tenure as Attorney General and his alleged involvement in fraudulent activities.