AUSTIN, TX, USA. —
An extramarital affair between Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and a campaign donor associate was key to understanding why the Republican used his authority in ways that are now a central part of his impeachment trial over corruption charges. , testified a former top collaborator.
“That answered the ‘why’ question,” said Jeff Mateer, Paxton’s deputy in the Texas Attorney General’s office.
The testimony of Mateer, who reported Paxton to the FBI in 2020 for alleged abuse of authority, quickly integrated an affair Paxton admitted to his associates in the historic impeachment trial against him that poses the greatest threat to his political career.
At the heart of the case are allegations that Texas’ top attorney abused his powers to help Austin real estate entrepreneur Nate Paul, one of his financiers who was then under FBI investigations and accused of financial misrepresentation earlier this year Bank statements to banks were accused.
During cross-examination, Paxton’s attorney, Tony Buzbee, did not elaborate on the extramarital affair, although he downplayed Paul’s $25,000 campaign donation as irrelevant to Texas politics and implied that Mateer and other lower-level officials wanted to seize power.
“They orchestrated a coup, didn’t they?” said Buzbee, a famous Houston attorney whose past clients include former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
“No way,” Mateer replied.
Paxton, who is not required to attend Senate hearings in Texas, was again absent when Mateer appeared as a key witness in an impeachment trial that could last several weeks. Paxton’s wife, Senator Angela Paxton, was disqualified from voting and watched Mateer’s testimony from her bench.
“We’re just days away from one of the toughest fights of my entire career,” Paxton told supporters in an email Wednesday, asking for donations to reinstate him “by the end of the month.”
According to a list obtained by The Associated Press, more than 100 people have been identified as possible witnesses at the trial. Among them is the woman Paxton had a relationship with, but it is currently unknown if she or others on the list will testify.