Texas AG Paxton faces state ethics petition for alleged 'dishonest' statements in election litigation

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Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Photo from the Texas attorney general's office.

Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is accused of making “dishonest” statements in election litigation in an ethics petition filed by the Commission for Lawyer Discipline of the State Bar of Texas.

The May 25 petition stems from Paxton’s original jurisdiction lawsuit filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in December 2020. Paxton’s suit sought to overturn the election results in the battleground states of Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. The Supreme Court tossed the case the same month, citing a lack of standing to challenge election results in other states.

According to the petition, Paxton’s suit misrepresented that Texas had “uncovered substantial evidence” that raised serious doubts about the integrity of the election process in the four states.

The petition, filed in Collin County, Texas, said Paxton’s pleadings contained these additional misrepresentations:

• The number votes tied to unregistered voters would affect the election outcome.

• Votes were switched because of a voting-machine glitch.

• State actors unconstitutionally revised election statutes.

• Illegal votes affected the outcome of the election.

Paxton’s “representations were dishonest,” the disciplinary petition said. “His allegations were not supported by any charge, indictment, judicial finding and/or credible or admissible evidence and failed to disclose to the court that some of his representations and allegations had already been adjudicated and/or dismissed in a court of law.”

Five people had asked the Texas bar to investigate Paxton, including Democratic Party activist Kevin Moran and David W. Wellington Chew, a retired Texas appeals court justice.

Brent Edward Webster, a top Paxton deputy, is facing a separate ethics complaint, filed May 6, that also cites alleged “dishonest” assertions in the Supreme Court election lawsuit.

Hat tip to Law360, Bloomberg Law,, the Texas Tribune and the Washington Post, which had coverage of the petition.

The articles pointed out that the complaint against Paxton was filed a day after he defeated George P. Bush, the commissioner of the Texas General Land Office, in a GOP runoff election for Texas attorney general.

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