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Deal reached in Paxton securities fraud case

Defense lawyers for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton scored a major victory Tuesday as special prosecutors announced a deal to forego a trial on securities fraud charges against the politician nearly a decade after he was indicted.

Prosecutors announced Tuesday morning that they had reached a deal to dismiss charges against the third-term Republican attorney general. Paxton was first indicted in 2015.

However, Paxton must pay approximately $300,000 in restitution to victims, complete 100 hours of community service, and attend 15 hours of legal ethics education in return for having the three felony counts against him wiped out.

Paxton was accused of tricking people into investing in a technology start-up company outside Dallas prior to his being elected the state’s top lawyer.

He was slated to go on trial in mid-April and could have faced life in prison if convicted.

Paxton is allowed to remain in office and retain his law license, a huge win for the state, which is leading several lawsuits aimed at the Biden administration.

The good news for Paxton comes six months after he was acquitted on charges in the state Senate after the Republican-controlled House voted to impeach him on 16 articles related to bribery, disregard of official duty, and dereliction of duty. Paxton had been accused of using his power to help real estate developer Nate Paul.

The 31-person Senate was composed of 12 Democrats and 19 Republicans, including Sen. Angela Paxton, the attorney general’s wife.

Sen. Paxton was not allowed to vote on any of the pretrial motions or articles, which made it harder for the Senate to rally the 21 votes necessary to convict on each charge.

Paxton’s lead defense lawyer, Tony Buzbee, said during closing arguments that the prosecution had brought a case “with no evidence” as part of a “political witch hunt within the Republican Party.”

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