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This week on “As Collin County Turns”

I swear, the Ken Paxton case is a giant vortex of political suck, absorbing everything in its wake.

Best mugshot ever

Best mugshot ever

The Collin County district judge who oversaw the grand jury indictment of state Attorney General Ken Paxton is now facing a complaint before the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.

Chris Oldner – whose comments about the politically charged case have drawn attention – was accused in a filing dated last week of judicial misconduct for “disparaging” Paxton, failing to recuse himself sooner, and potentially prejudicing the proceedings.

The campaign for Oldner, a Republican who is now running for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, said the “complaint is completely without merit.”

“It’s just another just another example of how dark-money special interest groups seek to bully and intimidate ethical, conservative judges who strictly follow the law,” the campaign said. “It has to be humiliating that they had to resort to a young, low-level political operative to do their bidding.”

The grievance was filed by Aaron Harris, a North Richland Hills politico who’s worked on anti-bond efforts and other Tarrant County campaigns. Empower Texans, a conservative group that supports Paxton, first posted Harris’ complaint on Wednesday.

Harris laughed off the Oldner campaign’s response, adding that “if I’m the boogieman, that’s great.”

“It’s very telling that he doesn’t address the merits of the complaint,” he said. “And I have no idea where he gets ‘dark money’ or anything like that. … I’m not sure how a concerned citizen is a special interest group.”

[…]

They asked Tarrant County District Judge George Gallagher, who’s now overseeing the case, to quash the indictments over issues with how Oldner selected the grand jury. They also accused Oldner of leaking information about the indictment to his wife.

Oldner has said previously that he didn’t do anything wrong. And while Gallagher did not address the claims against Oldner, he denied a motion last month which raised Oldner’s actions as a reson to throw out the indictments.

Harris’ complaint echoes the concerns outlined by Paxton’s legal team. He focused on an interview that Oldner gave to WFAA-TV (Channel 8) in which the judge accused Paxton’s defense team of having “reached a desperate place.”

“As citizens, we have to hold our elected officials – judges or not – accountable,” Harris said. “And Judge Oldner’s behavior in this case is troublesome.”

See here for the background. You have to admire Aaron Harris’ ability to keep a straight face while hilariously casting himself as just plain ol’ folk doing the good work of keeping an eye on government. I mean, I could hear him twirling his mustache from here. I have no idea whether Oldner – who I remind you is a candidate for Court of Criminal Appeals in the GOP primary – crossed any lines in that WFAA interview or not. The State Commission on Judicial Conduct will sort that out in a few months. But man, this whole Paxton case is a cancer. Who else will wind up going down with his ship?

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