Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Paxton case remains as FARCICAL as ever....

"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."
Galatians 6:9

The indefatigable Jon Cassidy summarizes the latest:
[W]e’re now in year three of the Paxton prosecution, and those attorneys have yet to introduce or even hint at the existence of any evidence at all that Paxton ever misled anybody. We’ve got a fraud case, in other words, with no fraud.

Ostensibly, the case is about a group of investors who put money into a startup that flopped, and then got mad at Paxton when they learned he hadn’t put any money into the company he had recommended. But those investors admitted to law enforcement, in records I’ve reported on, that they had just assumed Paxton was investing in the company. The fraud, such as it were, is that Paxton failed to disabuse them of a mistaken assumption that they never discussed with him by, I don’t know, using the Force or something. For that, the state is trying to imprison him for 99 years, the Securities and Exchange Commission brought a civil action over the same matter, and a federal judge tossed it at the first opportunity, finding that the SEC’s idea of law-breaking was flat wrong even if all their factual allegations could be proven correct.

Last month, National Review and the Wall Street Journal editorial board both denounced the case, correctly identifying it as yet another example of a 25-year trend in Texas of criminalizing politics. Most of these political prosecutions have originated from the District Attorney’s office in heavily Democratic Travis County, which until recently had jurisdiction over public corruption cases involving state officials.

This one, however, comes out of Collin County, a Republican stronghold just north of Dallas. That’s the part, I think, that gave outsiders pause. Why would a Republican judge in a Republican county try to have a Republican official indicted in bad faith?


The Dallas Observer has chronicled how one powerful Collin County district attorney turned his office and the grand jury system against defense attorneys, clerks, even judges who didn’t do his bidding. My own interviews with county officials and attorneys have convinced me that those intra-party factions are still very real.

The Observer described the dynamic a few years ago:
The conservative Republican electorate gives so much deference to those upholding the law that prosecutors start believing they can use their power to investigate and accuse to settle scores with no political risk.

In that atmosphere, what one lawyer called “chicken-s*** offenses” can be blown up to felonies and enemies run over by the heavy wheels of criminal indictment, even if a conviction never results.
This crew tried to an indict a sitting judge on corruption charges by alleging, without a shred of evidence, that his willingness to appoint defense attorneys for defendants was actually an enrichment scheme. They got another judge convicted on a quid pro quo bribery charge, later reversed on the grounds that the judge had neither received any benefit nor done any favor for the other party. Small detail.

This is the machine that grabbed ahold of Paxton.
Read the whole thing here.

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