- Texas Attorney General first in country to file brief backing Trump travel ban.
Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an amicus brief Wednesday expressing his support of President Donald Trump's travel ban, effectively becoming the first state attorney general to back the controversial executive order.
Under the executive order, travelers from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya are barred from entering the United States for the next 90 days. Last month, the ban immediately created chaotic scenes in major airports across the country, where refugees in transit were detained.
“The law makes it very clear that the president has discretion to protect the safety of the American people and our nation’s institutions with respect to who can come into this country,” Paxton said in a news release. “The safety of the American people and the security of our country are President Trump’s major responsibilities under the law.”
Last week, a three judge panel from the 9th Circuit Court upheld a temporary restraining order which blocked parts of the order. In his brief, Paxton said the "president’s immigration order is a lawful exercise of congressionally delegated executive power over foreign affairs and national security."
- Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton hangs on politically as criminal trial looms.
That case has now dogged Paxton for over 18 months, hanging over most of his first term as Texas' attorney general. And yet, for all the rancor, Paxton appears to be surviving politically, a reality reflected here Monday night as he spoke to the NE Tarrant Tea Party, trumpeting his past legal victories over former President Barack Obama, looking forward to the Donald Trump era fully ramping up — and yes, addressing what one questioner delicately referred to as "your case."
The public's curiosity over Paxton's legal situation is sure to only increase — both inside and outside rooms like the one he addressed Monday night. In less than three months, Texans will watch as their attorney general stands trial on securities fraud charges, facing up to 99 years in prison. For many, it will be the first time they have heard in any detail about the allegation that Paxton misled investors in a company from before his time as attorney general.
The case goes back to August 2015, when a Collin County grand jury indicted Paxton on two counts of first-degree securities fraud and one count of third-degree failure to register with the state securities board. The most serious allegation is that Paxton, while a state representative, duped the investors in the company, a McKinney technology startup called Servergy, by failing to disclose he was making a commission. The U.S. Securities Exchange Commission brought a similar, civil case against Paxton in April 2016, and while a federal judge dismissed those charges in October, the SEC has kept the case alive by filing amended allegations.
Paxton and his allies have increasingly argued in recent months that he is the subject of a revenge plot by political foes he made before — and during — the 2014 attorney general's race. It's a theory that many of his supporters have also adopted — and could be key to his prevailing in at least the court of public opinion.