Last week, as millions of Texans suffered through freezing temperatures with no power and water, Ted Cruz took an infamous vacation to Cancún, Mexico (and initially blamed his daughter for the trip). It turns out, Cruz wasn’t the only Texas Republican who abandoned the state.
Ken Paxton, the state’s embattled attorney general who is currently under investigation by the FBI, traveled to Utah with his wife, state Senator Angela Paxton during the disaster. On Wednesday, when over two million Texans were still without power, Paxton was in Utah meeting with Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes.
Paxton’s spokesperson confirmed the trip, and said it was “previously planned.” In Utah, Paxton allegedly discussed a multi-state lawsuit against Google and attended a simulation from law enforcement officials.
Angela Paxton’s spokesperson also verified that the state senator was hundreds of miles away from the district she represents. “[Angela Paxton] joined AG Paxton on a previously planned trip to Utah, which included meetings that benefit her efforts to promote human dignity and support law enforcement,” said Paxton’s spokesperson in a statement.
State Rep. Gary Gates also left the state. He took a private jet to Orlando on Wednesday and returned Friday. Speaking with Houston’s KPRC-TV, Gates defended the decision noting his power was out and much of his home was flooded. “I was more productive by being there and I had the ability to be able to put myself in a position to be able to be more productive that way,” said Gates.
Earlier today, Paxton took to Twitter and posted about his trip to Utah. It was the first post on his personal account since February 20.
Paxton is currently under investigation by the FBI for abuse of office and bribery in connection to a donor in Austin named Nate Paul. After agents with the FBI and the U.S. Department of Treasury raided Paul’s office and home in 2019, Paxton, through his office, stepped in and launched an investigation into those government agencies who targeted Paul. That prompted seven members of Paxton’s staff to report their concerns to federal authorities.
Six years ago, Paxton was indicted by a state grand jury on felony securities fraud. That case has continued to bounce around various Texas courts.
For a complete rundown of Paxton’s legal troubles, you can listen to “Paxton Patrol” from the Tex Mix Podcast, presented by Texas Signal. Available on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts.
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