AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A woman with whom Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton It is said that They had an extramarital affair He was expected to testify publicly on Wednesday, setting up a dramatic moment in the Republican impeachment trial on corruption and bribery charges.
The matter is Central to historical activities and allegations that Paxton abused his power to hire a woman named Laura Olson, Austin real estate developer Nate Paul, who was under FBI investigation. One of the 16 articles of indictment against Paxton alleges that the hiring of Paul Olsen was a bribe.
He was set to take the witness stand later Wednesday in the Texas Senate against Paxton’s wife. State Sen. Angela Paxton, who was required to attend the hearing but was not allowed to vote on whether her husband should be removed from office. On Monday, she listened from her desk in the Senate as one of her husband’s former staffers testified The secret relationship took a toll on the Attorney General’s office.
Olson previously served as Republican state Sen. Donna also worked for Campbell, who had to vote in the trial. It underscores the many problems in the building as Ken Paxton fights for his political career after years of corruption allegations. Criminal charges.
Paxton, suspended from office pending the conclusion of the investigation, is not required to attend the proceedings. He has not appeared on the Senate floor since testimony began last week.
In calling Olson to testify, a panel of bipartisan lawmakers leading the impeachment made him one of the final witnesses. A verdict could come later this week. Olson was first called to the witness stand Wednesday morning, but Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who is acting as the trial judge, said he could not testify until the afternoon due to procedural rules.
Former employees have testified that Paxton admitted to having an affair. The three-term incumbent, who was re-elected last November, has not discussed the matter publicly.
Olsen’s testimony is the first time the public has heard her account of her relationship with Texas’ top law enforcement officer and her interactions with Paul. Indicted in June On charges of making false statements to banks. Paul is innocent.
After Olson’s testimony was delayed, House impeachment managers called Drew Wicker, Paxton’s former executive assistant, to the witness stand.
Wicker, who described Paxton as a friend, said he met Paul three times, including once to deliver a manila envelope and another to pick up Paxton’s phone, which Paul had left at home.
When Paxton began staying at the Austin hotel in 2020 while his house was being renovated, Wicker said, Paxton would cut off his security detail and instead pick him up and drop him off. She said Paxton often did things and went places that weren’t on her schedule, including meetings with Paul, and saw Paxton and Olson together at a hotel.
Wicker said the cost of new countertops and cabinets in Paxton’s kitchen is about $20,000. He said he was concerned when the contractor said he would “check with Nate.”
Wicker said Paxton had the impression that Paul was involved in renovating Paxton’s house.
“I felt there might be an inappropriate relationship,” Wicker recalled telling Paxton. Not so, Paxton said.
An FBI investigation into Paxton and Paul’s dealings also probed renovations, at least one Austin contractor Grand Jury 2021 for job related posts.
With the trial ticking down, lawyers on both sides are forced to pay more attention to the clock Patrick is keeping.
Bleiberg reported from Dallas.
AP’s full coverage of the indictment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton can be found here: https://apnews.com/hub/ken-paxton