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More information about Paxton impeachment trial leaked in violation of gag order

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(The Center Square) – More information has been leaked about Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s impeachment trial in violation of the state Senate’s gag order.

This is the second time information has been leaked to the media by someone believed to be in the legislature in violation of the rules governing the impeachment trial established by the Senate.

When asked if Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick was going to investigate who leaked this information or if he was planning on making a statement about it, his office did not respond to a request for comment from The Center Square.

The Dallas Morning News reported Thursday that House managers plan to call Paxton as a witness as well as real estate developer Nate Paul; “Laura Olson, a woman with whom Paxton is alleged to have had an affair;” and former Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore, “according to confidential witness lists obtained by The Dallas Morning News.”

The House voted in May to impeach Paxton. His trial in the Senate is scheduled to begin Sept. 5.

Paxton lead attorney Tony Buzbee said last month that Paxton won’t testify. “Attorney General Paxton will not dignify the illegal House action by testifying,” he said. “The House has ignored precedent, denied him an opportunity to prepare his defense, and now wants to ambush him on the floor of the Senate. They had the opportunity to have Attorney General Paxton testify during their sham investigation but refused to do so. We will not bow to their evil, illegal, and unprecedented weaponization of state power in the Senate chamber.”

On Paxton’s list of potential witnesses “are two senators who will also sit as jurors during his impeachment trial: his wife, Angela Paxton, and Bryan Hughes, a Mineola Republican who is referenced in the articles of impeachment,” according to the document The Dallas Morning News obtained. Others on the list include Paxton’s Republican primary challengers, George P. Bush and Eva Guzman, Republican strategist Karl Rove, and Texans for Lawsuit Reform founder Dick Weekley.

Houston attorney Dick DeGuerin, representing the House managers, told the Dallas Morning News, “As far as the witness list being made public, I want it to be clear: Nobody from the House managers leaked that.”

In response to the Dallas Morning News story, Texans for Lawsuit Reform published a statement saying that it had “nothing to do with the House investigation of Ken Paxton and did not even know of its existence until the House General Investigating Committee’s public hearing on May 24, 2023. Any assertions otherwise are a blatant attempt to distract from the facts of the articles of impeachment.

“There is an ongoing effort underway to intimidate the Senators into abandoning their constitutional obligations and acquitting Paxton before the trial even begins and the evidence has been presented. … Texans deserve a trial and outcomes based on the factual presentation and consideration of evidence.”

Buzbee and Paxton’s attorneys have repeatedly argued in public statements before the gag order and in the motions they filed with the Senate that there is no evidence to support the claims made in the articles of impeachment and that 19 out of 20 of them should be thrown out.

Last month, a motion filed with the Senate was leaked to the Texas Tribune, in violation of the gag order. Patrick has not said if he launched an investigation to determine who leaked it.

Multiple motions have been filed by the Senate, House managers and Paxton’s attorneys. They are all published on the Senate Impeachment website and are available to the public.

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