Paxton ordered to sit for deposition anyway

Bwa ha ha!

A crook any way you look

A Travis County judge issued an order Friday for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to sit for a deposition on Feb. 1 in the lawsuit brought by four of his former employees. However, some of those plaintiffs and their attorneys expect Paxton to appeal.

Judge Jan Soifer said Paxton will have to appear for and answer questions in an oral deposition at an Austin law firm on that day starting at 9 a.m. She said she reached this decision because his office failed to negotiate with the plaintiffs’ attorneys over times to schedule the deposition.

The order also set dates for three of Paxton’s top employees: Feb. 2 for First Assistant Attorney General Brent Webster; Feb. 7 for Chief of Staff Lesley French Henneke; and Feb. 9 for senior advisor Michelle Smith.


In their [previous] filing, Paxton’s attorneys emphasized his belief that he did nothing wrong, noting the Texas Senate acquitted him at his impeachment trial last year. They also argue what the former employees claims’ include are not protected by the state’s whistleblower protection law.

However, in the same document, they said Paxton’s office “hereby elects not to contest any issue of fact in this case” and “elects not to dispute the Plaintiffs’ lawsuit.”

That latter argument especially shocked Blake Brickman, a former deputy attorney general who’s now suing Paxton. He said he saw what Paxton wrote in the filing as “total vindication.”

“This is a total 180 that Ken Paxton has done. He is now saying he is not contesting our facts. The impeachment trial was based on our allegations, and now he’s saying what we said is true,” Brickman said. “The people of Texas really need to think about that. Conservative, rule-of-law Republicans really need to think about how disingenuous this attorney general is for him to say, actually, all these things are true now, right before he’s about to get deposed, after he went through the impeachment. It’s shocking. It really is.”

Brickman said he does anticipate Paxton to appeal the judge’s order. However, that last resulted in the Texas Supreme Court rejecting his request to avoid testifying under oath in the lawsuit.

If Paxton does eventually go under oath, though, he could invoke his Fifth Amendment right and not answer any questions. Mike Golden, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, said that could end up harming a defendant in a civil case like this.

“Here in a civil case, any witness, including the defendant or an employee defendant, can plead the Fifth Amendment and refuse to answer any particular question. That’s protected by the Constitution, and they can’t be compelled to answer those questions,” Golden said. “But the flip side is, in the civil case, their refusal to answer that question gets used against them in court. The plaintiffs can argue to the jury: he didn’t answer this question because he knew the answer will be bad for him, and he didn’t answer 77 questions because he knew the answers were going to be bad for him. That’s the huge difference between how a criminal case works and a civil case [works].”

See here and here for the previous updates. I agree with Brickman that Paxton will appeal – I’ve already stated my belief that he will do anything to delay this from happening. As plaintiff attorney TJ Turner says in the story, “the last thing Ken Paxton wants to do is put a hand on his Bible and tell the truth”. He might literally burst into flame if he tries.

I also like this quote from the updated Trib story.

State Rep. Andrew Murr, the Junction Republican who was the top House impeachment manager, claimed vindication after Paxton’s new filing, saying he has has “dropped all pretense of innocence.”

“He’s admitted to what many in the Texas House have known in our hearts to be true: he flagrantly broke the law, violated the Whistleblower Act and betrayed the trust placed in him by retaliating against his own team, those who bravely reported his illegal actions,” Murr said in a statement.

Indeed. And now all y’all need to take the next step and campaign against Paxton in 2026, both in the primary and (when he wins) the general election. Anything else and you lose any claim to the moral high ground that you now hold. Don’t blow it. NBCDFW has more.

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9 Responses to Paxton ordered to sit for deposition anyway

  1. Please raise your hand if you are just sick and tired of all the incompetent, egocentric, erratic, corrupt politicians who are more concerned with enriching themselves (and their cronies) and advancing their extreme ideology than actually serving the public. We obviously can’t count on the political parties and voters to restrain these politicians, as their criminal conduct and crazy/outrageous behavior is often overlooked due to party loyalty and the pursuit/retention of power. Fortunately, the American justice system has mechanisms in place to eventually hold these politicians accountable. Whether it be Trump, Paxton, Santos, Mendez, or whomever, the rule of law (criminal and/or civil) often catches up to them. In this case, Paxton can delay, delay, delay, but the chickens eventually come home to roost.

  2. J says:

    A piece about one of the worst, most corrupt Republicans in the country, and GS somehow manages to include Democrats in his condemnation. A new form of waddabout. He wanted to mention his favorite County Judge, but couldn’t quite get there.

  3. Manny says:

    I think Greg, in his adding a Democrat in there, mistyped a name.

    Greg, did you mean Bob Menendez, United States Senator?

    But three MAGAs to one Democrat, that is good for you, Greg.

  4. Whatever, J. In addition to Paxton, I was just thinking about all the other crooked politicians who are now finally being dragged into court to be held accountable for their actions. If we are ranking them, Trump is the worst.

  5. Manny, when it comes to corruption, political party is irrelevant to me. You see 3 Rs and 1 D, while I just see 4 indicted crooks. Thanks for correcting my spelling – yes, I was referring to Menendez.

  6. Manny says:

    Greg, to be honest with you, Trump has a lot of people that he dragged in while trying to destroy our Republic. While not indicted, Ted Cruz and Jim Jordan were part of the plot to overthrow our system of government. They just were not indicted, but one can hope.

  7. Agreed. Everyone involved in the January 6th insurrection should be held accountable in court, especially the instigater – Trump. Voters can choose to overlook corruption, so it is up to the courts to uphold the rule of law.

  8. J says:

    Here is some corruption for you, Greg Abbott paid $6 million dollars by an out of state billionaire school voucher fanatic to help tear down the Texas school system. Imagine the howling by aggrieved GOPers if a Democrat got this cash.

  9. I agree.

    If ignored, government corruption can become rampant. We need the FBI and local prosecutors to investigate and prosecute these types of cases. I doubt Abbott will be investigated, but he should be.

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