Texas Supreme Court denies motion to prevent Paxton from testifying in whistleblower case


Depositions of Attorney General Ken Paxton and his three top aides will continue as planned in the ongoing whistleblower lawsuit against him, after the Texas Supreme Court denied a motion by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) to prevent them from taking place.

Late Friday afternoon, the court issued its decision on Paxton and the OAG’s motion, denying their request to halt the depositions. Back in December, the 3rd Court of Appeals approved a motion by the four OAG whistleblowers to conduct depositions of Paxton, first assistant Brent Webster, chief of staff Lesley French Henneke, and senior advisor Michelle Smith.

Justices John Devine and Jimmy Blacklock noted their dissent of the deposition directive for Paxton, Webster, and Henneke, but not for Smith. “They would instruct the district court to reconsider the necessity for, and scope of, those depositions only after depositions of lower-ranking officials have taken place,” the court’s website states.

Justice Evan Young did not participate.

Multiple OAG staffers filed a complaint against the attorney general in 2020, alleging abuse of office and other misconduct that centered on Paxton’s relationship with real estate developer and political donor Nate Paul.

Paxton and the OAG filed a motion to stay the depositions with the Texas Supreme Court and asked the court to take the case via a mandamus petition. He then asked the court to enforce the $3.3 million settlement agreed upon in 2023, which fell apart in March after the Texas House balked at paying the sum — a move that laid the groundwork for the attorney general’s eventual impeachment in the House and acquittal in the Senate.

Paxton was acquitted on all 16 articles of impeachment by the Senate back in September, after which the Supreme Court revived the stagnant case.

The depositions are not yet scheduled but are expected to occur later this month or in February.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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