With the Senate impeachment trial of Attorney General Ken Paxton just weeks away, campaign finance records reveal a relationship between House investigators, impeachment prosecutors, and the Senate’s newly-appointed counsel.
In a rushed proceeding on Memorial Day weekend, the Texas House voted to impeach Attorney General Ken Paxton on 20 charges of misapplication of public resources, bribery, obstruction of justice, abuse of public trust, and disregard of official duties.
On Friday afternoon, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced his appointment of Marc Brown to serve as his counsel ahead of and during the Senate’s trial. Brown previously served as a justice on the 14th Court of Appeals and as a judge in the 180th District Court in Harris County. In the announcement, Patrick said he was “confident [Brown] will further the Senate’s pursuit of a fair and impartial trial.”
Campaign finance records reveal that when Brown was in elected office as a Republican, he received money from those involved in Paxton’s impeachment. The records support what legal sources in Harris County have suggested is a close relationship between Brown and the House investigators seeking to remove Paxton from office.
Brown received $3,000 from Rusty Hardin, one of the lawyers hired by the House to prosecute Paxton. Additionally, he received $200 from John Buess, the husband of Terese Buess; she is among the investigators charged with investigating Paxton ahead of the House’s impeachment.
Brown, a Republican, also received financial support ($50) from Democrat State Rep. Ann Johnson of Houston. Johnson sits on the House General Investigating Committee and is among those leading the impeachment against Paxton.
A request for comment from Patrick about Brown’s relationship with Johnson, Buess, and Hardin was not returned in time for publication. The article will be updated if a comment is received.
The Senate trial is slated to begin on Tuesday, September 5.