Authorities have not revealed the extent to which they are looking into Paxton, and it is not known whether actual criminal charges are forthcoming.
Paxton is at least the second politicl figure this week whose name has been linked to a corruption scandal.
P.G. Sittenfeld, one of Cincinnati’s most powerful and charismatic Democratic politicians, was arrested by the FBI Thursday after being indicted on federal corruption charges.
» THIS WEEK: FBI arrests Cincinnati councilman on corruption charges
Paxton allegedly used his high-profile position to benefit Paul in several ways, according to seven senior lawyers in the attorney general’s office and the agency’s head of law enforcement.
One of the central allegations against Paxton is that he hired an outside lawyer to investigate Paul’s claims that the FBI improperly searched his home and offices in 2019, AP reports.
But the full nature of Paxton and Paul’s connection remains unclear.
In 2018, Paul donated $25,000 to the attorney general’s reelection campaign. The developer also said in a recent deposition that Paxton recommended a woman for her job with his company.
Two people previously told The Associated Press that Paxton acknowledged in 2018 having an extramarital affair with the woman, who was then a state Senate aide. The people spoke on condition of anonymity due to fears about retaliation.
Paxton said in a Tuesday statement to the Austin American-Stateman that, “after reviewing the claims made by former employees of this office, their allegations are overblown, based upon assumptions, and to a large degree misrepresent the facts.”
Paxton has spent most of his tenure in office maintaining his innocence in the face of an indictment on unrelated securities fraud charges. The case has been stalled for years over legal challenges.
A criminal defense attorney for Paxton, Philip Hilder, declined to comment. Spokespersons in the attorney general’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.