Texas impeachment: Lawyer says he was misled by Paxton, told to ‘eat’ invoice
A lawyer allegedly hired by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to look into claims made by real estate developer Nate Paul said Tuesday that the Lone Star State’s top law enforcement officer misled him, and that a Paxton aide told him to “eat” an invoice for his work.
“You guys reached out to me to go and do a job, and then, now you’re pulling the rug out from under me, and I’m getting these cease-and-desist letters, and now my name is being thrown through the mud in the media, and this is a totally new world to me,” attorney Brandon Cammack recalled telling Paxton in testimony on the witness stand.
Paxton is accused of misusing his office to help Paul, his friend and campaign donor. Cammack said Tuesday that he was hired by Paxton and began investigating Paul’s claims, reporting directly to the attorney general and working without official credentials.
He also said Paxton asked to communicate via encrypted messaging services and called from two separate cell phones, prompting Cammack to get a second phone so as not to miss his calls.
Cammack testified he eventually served subpoenas to a list of people provided by Paul’s then-attorney. He said he didn’t know that some of the people he was sending subpoenas to were opposing counsel to Paul in civil litigation, and shortly thereafter received two cease-and-desist letters from a deputy attorney general.
He testified that he later went to the attorney general’s office for a meeting but was ushered to a Starbucks, where Paxton’s aide, Brent Webster, “did all the talking” and told him to stop working.
Cammack said he asked about payment for a $14,000 invoice.
“Well, you’re going to have to eat that invoice. I’ve had to eat $40,000 invoices,” Cammack recalled Webster saying. Cammack said the comment was “offensive” and that Paxton was “just listening.”
Cammack said Paxton and the others with him then left the Starbucks and “tried to get in the car and drive off” without giving him a ride back to the office.
Paxton pled not guilty last week to corruption charges. Currently suspended, the historic impeachment could result in the attorney general’s permanent removal from office.
The trial proceedings went into their sixth day Tuesday, with witness testimony expected to continue over the next couple of days and jury deliberations expected as soon as late Thursday or Friday.