Paxton says Texas bar plans to sue him over bid to overturn 2020 election

Associated Press/Jacquelyn Martin

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) said on Friday that the State Bar of Texas is planning to sue him and his top deputy over a lawsuit aimed at overturning the 2020 presidential election results, a development coming several weeks ahead of his primary runoff.

“I have recently learned that the Texas State Bar – which has been waging a months-long witch-hunt against me – now plans to sue me and my top deputy for filing Texas v. Penn.: the historic challenge to the unconstitutional 2020 presidential election joined by nearly half of all states and over a hundred members of Congress. I stand by this lawsuit completely,” he said in a statement shared over Twitter.

The Republican attorney general, who faces a runoff against state Land Commissioner George P. Bush later this month for the Republican attorney general nomination, called the state bar a “liberal activist group masquerading as a neutral professional association.”

Paxton claimed that the timing of the move was meant to sway voters ahead of the runoff’s early voting.

“Texas Bar: I’ll see you and the leftists that control you in court. I’ll never let you bully me, my staff, or the Texans I represent into backing down or going soft on defending the Rule of Law – something for which you have little knowledge,” he added.

“We are unable to comment on attorney disciplinary matters unless they are filed in district court or result in a disciplinary action. To date, the only filing involves Brent Webster,” a spokesperson for the state bar said in a statement, referring to the first assistant attorney general.

As of Friday afternoon, court documents were not yet available on his case, The Texas Tribune noted.

The State Bar of Texas launched a probe into Paxton over potential professional misconduct regarding a lawsuit he filed that challenged the 2020 presidential election results in several key battleground states, a legal challenge that was later rejected in December 2020 by the Supreme Court. 

“Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections,” the Supreme Court ruled at the time. “All other pending motions are dismissed as moot.” 

The development comes as Paxton’s office announced on Friday that it was launching a probe into the Texas Bar Foundation, claiming it had “knowingly given donations to entities that encourage, participate in, and fund illegal immigration at the Texas-Mexico border, and potentially using taxpayer dollars received from the State Bar of Texas, which appoints the Foundation’s trustees.”

Texas Bar Foundation Chair-Elect Alistair Dawson refuted those claims, saying in a statement that the foundation does not receive taxpayer funding.

“General Paxton is misinformed. The Foundation does not receive funding from taxpayer dollars. To the contrary, our grants are made possible by the generosity of Texas lawyers,” Dawson said.

“We receive voluntary contributions from the Fellows of the Foundation, and those contributions enable the Foundation to award millions of dollars in grants. We will proudly continue to award grants to much-needed charities throughout Texas going forward.”

Tags Bar association Texas

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