After seven top aides to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton accused Texas’ top law enforcer of engaging in bribery and abusing the office, U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) has issued a statement today calling for Paxton to resign from office, becoming the first Republican lawmaker to do so.
Paxton, however, has indicated that he won’t be leaving anytime soon.
Saturday, the media received a letter dated October 1 to Paxton from his seven top aides, stating in part: “We have a good faith belief that the attorney general is violating federal and/or state law including prohibitions related to improper influence, abuse of office, bribery and other potential criminal offenses.”
They added they have also given statements “to the appropriate law enforcement authority.”
In response, Paxton publicly attacked those accusing him, alleging they were trying to obstruct an investigation into government employees, including those in the AG’s office.
[A]ny 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.
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 previously served as Paxton’s first assistant in the Attorney General’s office.
Shortly after, in a statement released to the media, Paxton said he would not be resigning, referring to his accusers as “rogue employees”:
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.
Both Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick have publicly called for a full investigation, stopping short of calling for him to resign.
This article has been updated with Paxton’s statement.