Earlier this week, the Texas Supreme Court temporarily stalled a slew of depositions set to take place on Thursday. The depositions are part of an ongoing lawsuit brought by former employees of the Attorney General’s office.

Since the failed impeachment of Attorney General Ken Paxton in September, four former employees have sought to prolong what’s been labeled by many on the right and the left as a past-its-prime political witchhunt.

In October 2020, eight of Paxton’s top aides accused him of bribery and abuse of office. After being terminated from employment, four of the employees filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Paxton, where they alleged that Paxton did political favors for Nate Paul, a real estate developer and donor, by having his office intervene in Paul’s legal disputes.

This conflict was at the center of the failed impeachment attempt, after his office attempted to reach a $3.3 million settlement that was rejected by the House.

Political commentator and Austin-based attorney Adam Lowey, a Democrat, has repeatedly criticized continued efforts to relitigate the impeachment and drag out the settlement that Paxton has strategically agreed not to fight.

President Donald Trump joined the chorus on Tuesday in a Truth Social statement. Labeling the impeachment a hoax, Trump called the continued pursuit of Paxton in the courts a waste of time and money.

The post from Trump came a day after a National Pulse article called into question the impartiality of the Texas Supreme Court, based on donations a majority of its members have received from Texans for Lawsuit Reform.

The unaccredited article, which can be viewed in full here, was published the day before Paxton’s successful appeal was filed with the Texas Supreme Court to review lower court rulings compelling discovery in the whistleblower lawsuit.

Ahead of and during the impeachment, TLR was referenced as working behind the scenes to dislodge Paxton from his duly elected office. Included in the discovery were text messages from TLR co-founder Dick Trabulsi to political operative Karl Rove about planting a story in the Wall Street Journal.

Writing for The Federalist in October, Mark Pulliam outlined how these communications between Trabulsi and Rove suggest WSJ editors were in the loop on these establishment broadsides.

Following the court’s ruling on the depositions, Chief Justice Nathan Hecht was attacked for not allowing the proceedings against Paxton to continue. Austin blogger Harvey Kronberg lashed the justice with the following headline: “Despite an otherwise distinguished career, the Nathan Hecht legacy should now be that he bent the knee to Donald Trump and stained the Supreme Court of Texas.”

The parties involved have until February 29 to respond with legal arguments.

This isn’t the first time the court has been asked to rule on the contentious settlement.

In September, two weeks after Paxton prevailed in the impeachment brought by Speaker Dade Phelan and the House, the court denied a petition for review from Paxton, allowing his accusers to continue their legal battle with Paxton in a Travis County court.

Daniel Greer

Daniel Greer is the Director of Innovation for Texas Scorecard.