Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is reportedly being investigated by the state's bar association over his failed attempts to overturn the 2020 election — with the already scandal-ridden official facing disbarment for promoting bogus claims of widespread fraud and petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn President Joe Biden's election victory.
The conservative Republican is currently facing a six-year-old criminal case over stock purchases and an FBI investigation over whether he used his office to benefit a wealthy donor, as well as a tightly-contested primary with an opponent who has made Paxton's alleged ethical violations a central issue in the race.
The original complaint against Paxton, filed by a Texas Democratic Party insider, was initially dismissed by the State Bar of Texas, but an independent tribunal reversed that decision last month, according to the Associated Press. At issue is whether or not his unsuccessful push to overturn election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin amounted to professional misconduct.
If the accusations are substantiated, Paxton would become the highest profile official to face consequences for his role in President Donald Trump's attempt to invalidate legitimate election results.
"He wanted to disenfranchise the voters in four other states," Kevin Moran, the 71-year-old president of Galveston Island Democrats who filed the original complaint, told the AP. "It's just crazy."
Similar state bar proceedings, which closely resemble grand jury investigations, are exceedingly rare — the AP reports that reversals like Paxton's by the Texas' Board of Disciplinary Appeals, which consists of 12 independent lawyers appointed by the Texas Supreme Court, happen in less than 7% of cases.
Paxton is currently running for his attorney general position against Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, the son of Jeb Bush and nephew of former President George W. Bush.