Prosecutors: Evidence against Ken Paxton is '10-times worse' than we know

Two of the highest profile attorneys in Texas will prosecute the impeachment case against State Attorney General Ken Paxton

The House Impeachment Managers introduced Dick DeGuerin and Rusty Hardin Thursday. 

DeGuerin has represented former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on corruption charges, and successfully defended former U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison on misconduct charges.

Hardin was involved in the Clinton-Whitewater investigation, as well as representing a number of high profile athletes.

Both men gave very blunt opinions about the case against Paxton, who will no longer be given a salary while he awaits his impeachment trial later this summer.

They said that what's been made public about regarding Paxton’s alleged misuse of his office is just the beginning.

"This is not about a Republican and it's not about a Democrat. The impeachment process and the vote in the House shows that," Hardin added.

The veteran lawyers will be the ones questioning witnesses and cross-examining the evidence provided by the attorney general's legal team. 

The lawyers will be aided by a 12-person impeachment managers team, which includes four Republicans from North Texas. 

AG Paxton was impeached by the House last Saturday with a supermajority vote of 121 to 23. 

There were 60 Republicans and 61 Democrats who voted to impeach Paxton. The 20 articles of impeachment included retaliation charges, bribery charges, and obstruction of justice.

The allegations of abuse of power and bribery were centered around Paxton donor Nate Paul, a real estate developer who reportedly asked Paxton to interfere with an FBI investigation. 

"I was shocked at the details and facts of the allegations. This is not about a one-time misuse of an office. It's not about a two-time misuse of the office. It's about a pattern of misconduct and use in the office," Hardin said.


Juror and spouse: Texas state Sen. Angela Paxton could vote in trial on husband’s impeachment

One of the 20 articles of impeachment brought against Ken Paxton includes a bribery charge related to an extramarital affair with an aide to a state senator.

The lawyers said Paxton's legal team should have the opportunity to cross-examine all witnesses just like a normal trial.

"We want the accused, Mr. Paxton, to be able to call witnesses in his own behalf. We want him to have a lawyer or set of lawyers representing him. We want them to be able to cross-examine our witnesses who will be sworn and all the witness should be sworn in under oath," DeGuerin said.

Hardin said the articles of impeachment are just allegations right now, but he said the evidence is "10-times worse" than what we know.

"The first five involve a friend of the governor. When you talk about misuse of the power, of the process and misuse of the office, you then get to the firing of employees that were dedicated conservative members of his own party supporters. And what he did in through those activities will blow your mind," said Hardin.

The lawyers representing the House are calling for a transparent trial to the public.

"The people of the State of Texas are entitled to know whether their top cop is a crook. We intend to present these 20 articles of impeachment in a fair way," said DeGuerin. 

The Senate will present their rules for the trial on June 20, so right now we don't know, but we assume the testimony in the trial will be made public for those outside of the capital to view.

DeGuerin and Hardin both called for a transparent process. 

"We hope and pray that this will be a process that allows the public to fully examine everything. And I promise you, it's ten times worse than has been public," Hardin said.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who will preside over the trial, said it will start no later than August 28. 

As soon as he was impeached, Paxton's was suspended from his duties as attorney general.

We learned Thursday from the Texas comptroller that because of the suspension, Paxton will no longer receive his salary.

Paxton has not released a statement in a few days, but he has said he thinks he will get a fair trial in the Senate. 

Angela Paxton, his wife, is a state senator. It’s unknown if she will recuse herself.