AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A group of whistleblowers who reported Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to the FBI said Monday they are not giving up their own legal fight against the Republican after his acquittal on corruption charges at his impeachment trial.
Four of Paxton's former advisers have asked the Texas Supreme Court to resume their whistleblower lawsuit against Paxton after having never received a $3.3 million settlement. The agreement was struck earlier this year but was never approved by Texas lawmakers, who instead went on impeach Paxton over accusations of corruption and bribery.
In all, eight of Paxton's former top aides went to the FBI in 2020 and accused their boss of misusing their office to help a political donor. Most of them testified at his impeachment trial that ended with a jury of mostly Republican senators acquitting Paxton on all charges.
“The political trial is over, and it’s time for the case to return to a real court,” said Blake Brickman, one of the whistleblowers.
A spokesperson for Paxton's office did not immediately return a message seeking comment. Earlier this year, Paxton's office argued against making the lawsuit active again since a settlement was on the table, telling the court that approval of the settlement could take more than one legislative session.
Paxton returned to office last week and immediately went on the attack against fellow Republicans who drove his impeachment. He had been suspended from office without pay while awaiting the trial's outcome, but on Monday his office asked the state comptroller to issue him back pay.
Paxton is still under an ongoing FBI investigation and is awaiting trial on state securities fraud charges. He has pleaded not guilty and broadly denied wrongdoing.