In a Monday filing to the Texas Supreme Court, the whistleblowers [Blake Brickman, David Maxwell, Mark Penley and Ryan Vassar] argued that Paxton has failed to uphold key parts of the settlement agreement, including the $3.3 million payment and a promise to apologize for calling them “rogue employees” after they were fired. Thus, they argued, the court should lift an abatement that was put in place during mediation, and return the case to the court’s active docket.
Doing so, they said at a Monday press conference, would allow them to do what the House impeachment managers could not — including examining financial documents and putting Paxton, Paul, Paxton’s girlfriend Laura Olson and Paxton’s wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton under oath.
And they vowed that their trial would be free of the political influence that they said affected the outcome of Paxton’s trial in the Texas Senate. In a shot at Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Brickman said their lawsuit wouldn’t feature a judge who received $3 million from pro-Paxton groups ahead of the trial.
Brickman also called Paxton’s claim that he was the victim of a political witch hunt “ludicrous,” noting that he was reported by sterling conservatives to the FBI while it was under former President Donald Trump.
At a Monday press conference, the whistleblowers also denied claims that they, rather than Paxton, were the ones who sought to settle the lawsuit last year. In a Monday letter that was sent to Texas Senators and provided to reporters, a lawyer for one of the whistleblowers pushed back on those claims and provided a timeline that he said directly refutes “misinformation” from Patrick and others about who initiated the settlement talks.
“The fact is that [the Office of the Attorney General] initiated discussions that led to the abatement and the Attorney General’s request for funding, “ wrote Joseph Knight, who represents Vassar.
As I said at the time the settlement agreement was first announced, before all of the madness that was subsequently unleashed, it was a shame this one would not go to trial because there was surely a lot of dirt to be had by it. Maybe now we’ll finally get that, in a not-biased courtroom and without Paxton and others being able to hide behind Dan Patrick. I can dream, can’t I?
Whatever does or doesn’t happen in a future courtroom, I’ll say the same thing to these gentlemen that I said to Republican members of the House after Dan Patrick spat on them: You absolutely must, vocally and consistently and unabashedly, support not just the next Republican opponent to Ken Paxton, but the Democratic opponent as well, since we all know he’ll skate through the primary. Anything less is craven surrender. You guys aren’t that. Beat him in court, and then do everything you can and everything you must to beat him at the ballot box. The Chron has more.