September 16, 2023

USA: Texas Attorney General Paxton ACQUITTED. Whistleblowers Had NO EVIDENCE Of Crime, But Reported Paxton To FBI Because They Formed Good Faith BELIEF He Was Ingaged In Illegal Activity.

Commie Democrats and the Commie Republicans made the entire story up about the Republican Texas Attorney General engaged in illegal activity. My gosh. They dragged his name and character through the mud for years based on made up accusations. Unbelievable and ruthless. I took the screenshot above and added my commentary. The far-Left and Republican Never-Trumpers who call us conspiracy theorists ARE THE VERY PEOPLE who are constantly drumming up fake news they turn into gossip and rumors against their political opponents. This as in what they keep doing to Trump pushed the envelope again and the Commie Republicans and Commie Democrats in the  Texas State Assembly actually IMPEACHED the Republican Texas Attorney General based on FAKE MADE UP INFORMATION! That's the same bs they're pulling with Trump. The Commie Democrats say, "We don't like your politics. Therefore, you're guilty because we 'believe' that you are guilty. We don't need proof to impeach. We don't need proof to report you to the FBI. The proof is that we believe in good faith he is a criminal." AND what is his crime? That he is a political opponent. That's not how America's legal system works. This entire shitshow was a sham from the start. Everyone involved in this character assassination needs to be sued or sent to federal prison. The people in the FBI who pulled the same shit against President Trump when they lied to the FISA court, the media, in their testimonies before congress, and lied to the public got away with everything they did. There were no consequences for giving false testimony and one even created false documents he handed in to the FISA court in order to ruin someone's life. They are turning America into a Banana Republic. (emphasis mine)
FOX 4 Dallas-Fort Worth published September 7, 2023: HIGHLIGHTS: Whistleblowers had no evidence of crime, Paxton defense says.

Ken Paxton's defense team questions whistleblower Larry Vassar about if he had any evidence that the attorney general had committed a crime and other top moments from Day 3 in the impeachment trial.
Here is an excerpt of the questioning in the video above starting at 3:07 minutes.

Whistleblower responded, "Again this is our good faith beliefs that a crime had occurred.

Defense attorney asked, "Respectfully sir, we are not here in this historic event for your good faith beliefs. But you don't know whether those properties belonged to Nate Paul or business entities controlled by Nate Paul, do you?"

Whistleblower responds, "Nothing other than what's been REPORTED IN THE MEDIA." Defense attorney asked, "You don't know, Ken, what's been reported in the media? Have you ever heard the phrase a self licking ice cream cone before? Let me explain what a self licking ice cream cone is Mr. Vassar.

A self licking ice cream cone is when A BUNCH OF EMPLOYEES AT THE ATTORNEY GENERALS OFFICE begin to suspect their boss, they read it in the media, they believe what the media says, they report it to the FBI and then THE MEDIA reports that you went to the FBI.

That is a self licking ice cream cone. You don't know whether this article is true or false do you?"

Whistleblower responds, "No sir, I didn't write this."
Austin American-Statesman published September 7, 2023: Ken Paxton defense attorney Anthony Osso Jr. questioning of former aide Ryan Bangert: Part 1. During day three of suspended Texas attorney general Ken Paxton's impeachment trial in the Texas Senate chambers, featured testimony from Ryan Bangert on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023. The former Paxton aide answered questions about how Nate Paul, an Austin real estate developer central to bribery allegations against the suspended Texas attorney general. Bangert said he believed that Paxton forced the writing of a hastily written legal memo that would foreclosure sales to benefit Paul at a foreclosure sale the following week. In his questioning, Osso made the point that it wasn't that memo that allowed for Paul to maintain his properties, but from Paul declaring bankruptcy. In response, Bangert said he found it suspicious that Paul's company, World Class Holdings, cited the legal memo in a court filing to stop the foreclosure sale.
He lied about being fired and other things. (emphasis mine)
FOX 4 Dallas-Fort Worth published September 8, 2023: HIGHLIGHTS: Paxton whistleblower text messages read. "Let the media feeding frenzy begin." Ken Paxton whistleblower Ryan Vassar answers questions from the defense and prosecution about going to the FBI, the days after and more highlights from the morning of Day 4.
Austin American-Statesman published September 12, 2023: Paxton attorney Tony Buzbee questions, calls out former Texas attorney general deputy Darren McCarty. In cross examination during day six of suspended Texas attorney general Ken Paxton's impeachment trial on Sept. 12, 2023., Ken Paxton's attorney Tony Buzbee, railed against Darren McCarty and other whistleblowers.

He critiqued them for hiring legal counsel and to this point not paying for the service. Buzbee also went through a litany of charges levied against Paxton, to which McCarty had limited information and knowledge.
Republican Party of Texas published September 7, 2023: Star Witness In Paxton Impeachment Crumbles Under Cross-Examination. Tony Buzbee questions Star Impeachment Witness Jeff Mateer on Texts, Burner Phones, Secret Emails, and Letterhead During the Paxton Impeachment Trial.
THEY LIED ABOUT THE SECRET EMAIL ADDRESS AND BURNER PHONES they said AG Paxton used for nefarious reasons.
Here is an excerpt from the Mateer questioning in video above. Defense attorney Buzbee asked, "So on September 30th you went to the FBI and you made your GOOD FAITH complaint. Right?" Witness Jeff Mateer replied, "We told the FBI the knowledge we had." 
Defense attorney Buzbee asked, "Did you then go back and give a copy of the actual signed contract from the duly elected Attorney General." THAT'S ACTUAL EVIDENCE THAT WOULD EXONERATE PAXTON. Witness Jeff Mateer replied, "I did not." Defense attorney Buzbee asked, "You did not?" Witness Jeff Mateer replied, "I did not." Defense attorney Buzbee asked, "Did you go back and tell them, 'hey there's actually a second referral. It didn't even come into our office. It in fact went directly from the DA's office of Travis County directly to Brandon Cammack. Did you tell them that?" Witness Jeff Mateer replied, "Not on October 1st."  Defense attorney Buzbee asked, "Did yo utell them at some point?" Witness Jeff Mateer replied, "I think at some point we did tell them that." Defense attorney Buzbee asked, "Did they indict Ken Paxton?" Witness Jeff Mateer replied, "As far as I know they have not." Defense attorney Buzbee asked, "Okay. So that... we'll see, let's try to get our timeline right. That was September of 2020 and this is September 2023 it's been three years?" Witness Jeff Mateer replied, "Your math is correct." Defense attorney Buzbee asked, "So in three years they've done nothing with the information that you provided them that's the subject of this impeachment. Right?" Witness Jeff Mateer replied, "I don't know what they've done sir. Ask them." Defense attorney Buzbee asked, "Well they certainly are pretty pretty good about letting us know if somebody's been indicted, aren't they?"
Austin American-Statesman published September 12, 2023: Brandon Cammack to defense: Ken Paxton didn't pressure me to find alleged, altered search warrant. Before attending a meeting with Ken Paxton in his Austin office in late August of 2020, Brandon Cammack met with Nate Paul and his attorney, Michael Wynne to discuss the base accusation for Cammack's hire: that a federal search warrant had been altered as part of an unlawful search of Paul's home and business.
KHOU 11 published September 16, 2023: Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick blasts House for handling of Paxton impeachment process After Ken Paxton was acquitted in his impeachment trial, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick criticized the House's handling of the impeachment process.
WFAA8 ABC News, Dallas, TX local
written by Ryan Osborne
Saturday September 16, 2023

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas senators on Saturday acquitted Attorney General Ken Paxton on all 16 impeachment articles in his trial, allowing him to return to office immediately.

A two-thirds vote in favor of finding Paxton guilty was required to sustain any of the impeachment articles, but none of the votes reached that threshold, or even a majority in favor of guilty.

Most of the articles were voted down 16-14, though one failed 28-2 and another failed 22-8.

Texas senators debated from around noon Friday and into the evening hours, before returning to the Capitol for more deliberations Saturday morning. Around 9:45 a.m., Texas Senate officials announced that senators were ready to vote. An initially scheduled vote for 10:30 a.m. was pushed to 11:10 a.m.

The senators then began voting on each article of impeachment individually, writing "yay" or "nay" on a piece of paper. A clerk would then read each senator's vote aloud to the crowd, and then Patrick would confirm each senator's vote.

By 1 p.m., Paxton, who was not present for the vote, was acquitted on all articles of impeachment.

Paxton had faced 20 articles of impeachment, but senators were only hearing 16 of the articles in the trial, which spanned nearly two weeks at the Texas Capitol in Austin.

After Paxton was acquitted on the 16 articles Saturday, senators voted 19-11 to dismiss the remaining four articles of impeachment that were not heard at trial.

The allegations against Paxton ranged from bribery to disregard of duty and misuse of power. Much of the case surrounded Paxton’s friendship with Nate Paul, an Austin real estate developer at the center of bribery accusations against Paxton.

"Today, the truth prevailed," Paxton said in a statement shortly after the votes were tallied. "The truth could not be buried by mudslinging politicians or their powerful benefactors. I've said many times: Seek the truth! And that is what was accomplished."

Lt. Gov. Patrick, who presided over the trial as the president of the Texas Senate, formally reinstated Paxton to office after the votes were tallies. Paxton was suspended in May, when the Texas House impeached him.

Patrick, who has yet to comment on Paxton's impeachment as the presiding judge, delivered sharp criticism of the Texas House's process in impeaching Paxton, calling the proceeding rushed as a last-minute act in the legislature session.

"In the House, the vote to send the articles of impeachment against the attorney general to the senate happened in only a few days, with virtually no time for 150 members to even study the articles," Patrick said. "The speaker [Dade Phelan] and his team ran through the first impeachment of a statewide official in Texas in over 100 years, while paying no attention to the precedent that the House set in every other impeachment before."

Patrick went as far to say that legislators in the next session should amend the Texas constitution to require that testimony in a House impeachment investigation should be given under oath, with a lawyer present.

Patrick also ordered a full audit of the money that was spent putting on the Paxton investigation and trial. The total cost to the state is unknown, though the attorneys hired by the House to prosecute Patrick were being paid $500 per hour.

Rep. Andrew Murr, who led the House Impeachment Manager prosecuting Paxton, said prosecutors "met our burden of proof" in their case against Paxton.

"At the end of the day, you have to understand, we provided all of the evidence that you would in a formal trial, encased and wrapped up in a political trial," Murr said. "I would not do anything differently."

Who voted in support of Paxton?

Paxton heading into Saturday was presumed to have a solid base of six Texas senators in his support; six -- Lois Kolkhorst, Paul Bettencourt, Brandon Creighton, Tan Parker, Bob Hall and Donna Campbell -- had voted before the trial to dismiss all articles of impeachment. And a couple others had voted to dismiss lesser amounts of articles.

But the question as senators began deliberating on Friday centered on how many Republican senators would side with Paxton -- and if that number would be less than the 10 votes of support he needed on each impeachment article, presuming all Democrats voted against him.

That question appeared to be quickly answered as the voting began Saturday morning: The first three articles of impeachment failed 16-14, the 14 votes being well below the 21 needed to convict Paxton.

Among the 16 votes of support Paxton received were the six senators who initially voted to dismiss all articles before the trial, as well as: Bryan Hughes, Pete Flores, Kevin Sparks, Joan Huffman, Phil King, Drew Springer, Mayes Middleton, Charles Perry, Brian Birdwell and Charles Schwertner.

Those 16 Republicans remained a stronghold for Paxton throughout the 16 votes held Saturday, and for Paxton, his number of supporters did not fall below 16. It only went up, to 17 votes, 22 votes and 28 votes on separate articles.

Republicans Kelly Hancock (North Richland Hills) and Robert Nichols (Jacksonville) were two from the GOP side who cast votes against Paxton.

On the 12 votes that failed 16-14, Hancock and Nichols voted against Paxton. On the 17-13 vote, Hancock voted against Paxton. On the 22-8 vote, Nichols voted against Paxton. Both voted for Paxton on an 18-12 vote.

What were the Paxton impeachment vote counts?

Here's how the vote results happened Saturday:

Article 1: Disregard of official duty - Protection of charitable organization - ACQUITTED

Yes (convict votes): 14
No (acquit votes): 16

Article 2: Disregard of official duty - Abuse of the opinion process - ACQUITTED

Yes (convict votes): 14
No (acquit votes): 16

Article 3: Disregard of official duty - Abuse of the open records process - ACQUITTED

Yes (convict votes): 14
No (acquit votes): 16

Article 4: Disregard of official duty - Misuse of official information - ACQUITTED

Yes (convict votes): 2
No (acquit votes): 28

Article 5: Disregard of official duty - Engagement of Cammack - ACQUITTED

Yes (convict votes): 13
No (acquit votes): 17

Article 6: Disregard of official duty - Termination of whistleblowers - ACQUITTED

Yes (convict votes): 14
No (acquit votes): 16

Article 7: Misapplication of public resources - Whistleblower investigation and report - ACQUITTED

Yes (convict votes): 14
No (acquit votes): 16

Article 8: Disregard of official duty - Settlement agreement - ACQUITTED

Yes (convict votes): 8
No (acquit votes): 22

Article 9: Constitutional bribery - Paul's employment of mistress - ACQUITTED

Yes (convict votes): 12
No (acquit votes): 18

Article 10: Constitutional bribery - Paul's renovations to Paxton home - ACQUITTED

Yes (convict votes): 14
No (acquit votes): 16

Article 15: False statements in official records - Whistleblower response report - ACQUITTED

Yes (convict votes): 14
No (acquit votes): 16

Article 16: Conspiracy and attempted conspiracy - ACQUITTED

Yes (convict votes): 14
No (acquit votes): 16

Article 17: Misappropriation of public resources - ACQUITTED

Yes (convict votes): 14
No (acquit votes): 16

Article 18: Dereliction of duty - ACQUITTED

Yes (convict votes): 14
No (acquit votes): 16

Article 19: Unfitness for office - ACQUITTED

Yes (convict votes): 14
No (acquit votes): 16

Article 20: Abuse of public trust - ACQUITTED

Yes (convict votes): 14
No (acquit votes): 16

What were the arguments in the trial?

Paxton lawyer Tony Buzbee blamed the impeachment on a purported power struggle within the Republican party, going as far to call out the Bush family. George P. Bush, the grandson of George H.W. Bush, ran against Paxton in the Republican primary in 2022 but lost.

"The Bush era in Texas ends today," Buzbee told senators in his closing argument. "We thought it had ended in the primary when Paxton beat George P. Bush. Well, now we had an impeachment trial. It ends today. They can go back to Maine. This is Texas."

House Impeachment Managers Andrew Murr and Jeff Leach, both state representatives, delivered the closing argument for the prosecution. Leach’s delivery, which came as the final word against Paxton, was notable in that he was a close friend and ally of Paxton. Both men are conservatives from Collin County, and Leach described Paxton as a mentor.

“This has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do in my life,” Leach told the senators. “I believe that it is right, as painful as it might be, for you to vote to sustain the articles of impeachment commended to you by the Texas House of Representatives.”
UPDATE 9/16/23 at 10:55pm: Added info below.
I think this is another reason they want him out. 👇

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