The Attorney General of Missouri has pledged to initiate legal action against the state of New York, accusing it of orchestrating a politically motivated prosecution against former President Donald Trump.

This announcement and an anticipated flurry of legal action surrounding the 2024 election represent pushback against lawfare that Republicans have been decrying at an increased pitch. Ire from notable Texas officials is aimed at both other states and federal officials in Trump’s case.

In a post to X yesterday, Andrew Bailey called New York’s prosecutions of Trump a “direct attack on our democratic process through unconstitutional lawfare.” He went on to post, “We have to fight back against a rogue prosecutor who is trying to take a presidential candidate off the campaign trail. It sabotages Missourians’ right to a free and fair election.”

These remarks mimic those of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton from May of this year. “As Attorney General of Texas, I will unleash every tool at my disposal to fight this blatant corruption and political persecution spewing from New York and the Biden administration.”

Missouri Senator Eric Schmitt labeled New York’s actions “election interference and wrongful prosecution,” echoing Paxton’s sentiments.

A longtime ally of President Trump, Paxton penned a scathing letter in December 2023 condemning what he characterized as a politically motivated prosecution of the former president and presumptive 2024 nominee.

In another example of lawfare, a whistleblower at Texas Children’s Hospital is facing criminal prosecution by the U.S. Department of Justice. 

Yesterday, it was reported that Attorney General Ken Paxton has opened an investigation into Medicaid fraud related to a second whistleblower’s revelations at Texas Children’s Hospital. 

Meanwhile, State Rep. Brian Harrison (R-Midlothian) has called for an immediate investigation of federal officials who are “harassing whistleblowers and potentially abetting the child abuse these whistleblowers have exposed.”

Texans are increasingly interested in asserting their rights to challenge what they perceive as overreach by their counterparts in other states and the federal government.

Clashes between states and the federal government over legal matters reflect broader divisions within the country and the tenuous balance is being upset by brazen political prosecutions. The justice system risks being seen as a battleground for ideological warfare rather than a neutral arbiter of law and justice.

Daniel Greer

Daniel Greer is the Director of Innovation for Texas Scorecard.

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