Paxton roundup: The Christian right does not care at all about his alleged infidelity

I appreciate the thought that went into this story, but come on. Have we not been paying attention to the last seven years?

A crook any way you look

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton rose to power as a champion of religious liberty, building a passionate following through alliances with conservative Christian leaders and an emphasis on his fundamentalist faith.

But his support from Christian conservatives — long the most devoted part of his base — may be fraying in the lead-up to his impeachment trial next week. At the center of the case is a charge that the third-term Republican lined up work with a donor for a woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair.

Though the relationship surfaced more than two years ago, the impeachment proceedings have thrust it into public view more than ever before.

“When I think of someone cheating on their wife, I think of the relationship I have with mine, how valuable God says that is, and I picture throwing all of it away for selfish self-gratification,” said Derrick Wilson, a Republican activist from the Fort Worth area who was recently elected chairman of the Texas Young Republican Federation. “That honestly does hit me where I live. It hits me in the heart.”

The alleged affair has remained in the spotlight since Paxton’s impeachment in May, fueled by intrigue over whether his wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton, would be allowed to join her colleagues in deciding her husband’s political fate. And earlier this month, prosecutors published records of an Uber account they say Paxton used under a fake name to visit the woman with whom he was having an affair.

Those standing behind the embattled attorney general say he has atoned by reportedly recommitting to his marriage and maintaining the trust of voters, who re-elected him after his scandals had already been made public. They say Paxton has been an effective crusader for conservative Christian values — and argued that’s the true reason he’s under attack from what they consider a rushed witch hunt driven by moderate Republicans.

“Thankfully, we have a God of forgiveness when there’s repentance. And in every indication right now, that all occurred with Ken and Angela,” said Dave Welch, founder and executive director of the Texas Pastor Council. “If there had not been, and if there was a breakdown of the marriage, if there was no correction or repentance of that, I think that would have affected the support” for Ken Paxton among his Christian conservative base.

You may recall the name Dave Welch from all his hatemongering during the 2015 anti-HERO campaign. His record as an icon of moral bankruptcy remains undiminished. You might also notice that this story never once mentions the name of The Former Guy. You know, the thrice-married, porn-star-fucking, grab-em-by-the-pussy rapist that people like Dave Welch worship. That alone should be enough to tell you how this crowd will handle whatever sordid information comes out about Ken Paxton. The rules are for other people, not for them. End of story.

Anyway. On other matters:

Everything was going according to plan.

In September 2020, subpoenas were served to executives at four Texas banks who Austin real estate investor Nate Paul — a friend of Attorney General Ken Paxton — believed had information about an illegal scheme to defraud him.

The subpoenas were signed by Brandon Cammack, who identified himself as a special prosecutor with the Texas Attorney General’s office. But they were written by Paul.

Earlier, Paul had sent a list of targets to Cammack, via his lawyer, who he wanted to see investigated and subpoenaed in what he called “Operation Deep Sea.” He alleged he was the target of two massive yet separate conspiracies perpetrated by business rivals, judges and several law enforcement agencies, including agents that participated in an FBI-led raid on his home and business a year earlier.

Cammack persuaded a judge to approve 25 additional subpoenas, which sought email or phone records of prosecutors investigating Paul, federal court staff, police officers, the head of a charity who sued him, a court-appointed lawyer in that lawsuit and the lawyer’s wife.

All of those targets were on Paul’s list. And the investigation would never have happened without the support of Paxton.

It’s a long story and you should read the rest. We have known the basic outlines of the Brandon Cammack story for awhile, this mostly fills in the details from the Nate Paul perspective. Reading through this, it’s easy to see why the eventual Paxton whistleblowers were so appalled and alarmed by what was happening. It’s almost cartoonishly corrupt, the sort of thing that if it had been a plot point in a TV legal procedural script, it would have been rejected for being too ridiculous. And yet here we are. I would like to know more about how those subpoenas that were basically written by Nate Paul and transcribed by Cammack got approved in the first place – was there some negligence on the part of the judge(s) who approved them, or was it more of a systemic issue – and I would like to be assured that screws are being applied to Brandon Cammack, who at the end of the day ought to have his legal career ended as well.

Finally, Dan Patrick found himself a new former judge to advise him on the impeachment trial. I hope she has no history of political giving to or against Ken Paxton.

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2 Responses to Paxton roundup: The Christian right does not care at all about his alleged infidelity

  1. Jeff N. says:

    Former Justice Lana Myers has a good reputation as a smart and honest judge. Good choice.

  2. Jason Hochman says:

    Paxton’s wife is still supporting him, so apparently they reconciled. It is not up to the Christian right or any other human to judge his behavior nor his contrition.

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