Why FBI agents are likely 'monitoring' Ken Paxton’s impeachment trial: legal experts

Why FBI agents are likely 'monitoring' Ken Paxton’s impeachment trial: legal experts
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 26: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton talks to reporters after the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case Texas brought against the Biden Administration about Title 42 on April 26, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) could be "monitoring" the impeachment trial of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, which began earlier this month, Dallas Morning News reports.

The AG's trial is centered on criminal and ethical allegations whistleblowers made against him, including claims he bribed prominent Austin real estate developer Nate Paul and misused his office to benefit Paul.

The report notes that "the FBI has been investigating Paxton since at least 2020, after" the eight whistleblowers from the AG's office notified agents of his alleged wrongdoing.

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Dallas Morning News reports that week one of "Paxton's impeachment trial had frequent FBI references, most notably the agency's role in fielding allegations of wrongdoing lodged against the attorney general by his top assistants."

Ultimately, the trial could lead to a federal indictment, according to the report.

Per Dallas Morning News, "The drama unfolding in the Texas Senate chamber offers insight for federal prosecutors and defense lawyers on the effectiveness of witnesses and the strength of the evidence."

Dallas-based white collar defense attorney Dan Guthrie told the news outlet, "This is almost like a free discovery of the government's case. These are key witnesses that the government presumably would be using in a federal prosecution. This is a rare opportunity to question those witnesses on events that would presumably formed [sic] the basis for a federal indictment."

READ MORE: 'Slow creep of corruption': Ken Paxton trial begins with sniping

Similarly, ex-United States Attorney Paul Coggins added, "I would be shocked if the Department of Justice wasn't monitoring what's going on. It would be more helpful to the government as they're building their case if the actual subjects of the investigation were getting up on the stand and testifying, but that's not going to happen."

Coggins emphasized, "If you're a law enforcement guy, you don't really want your witnesses testifying too many times, because it can create a trail that the defense lawyers can use to try to impeach them at a criminal trial.

Still, the news outlet notes, "What the FBI is examining in regards to Paxton isn't known."

Dallas Morning News' full report is available at this link.

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