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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Lawsuit: Donor involved in Texas AG’s home renovations


DALLAS (AP) — A wealthy donor whose relationship with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is the subject of an FBI investigation played a role in the renovation of Paxton’s million-dollar home, according to court documents filed Thursday.

Last year, much of Paxton’s senior staff accused the Republican of committing crimes to help Austin real estate developer Nate Paul. All of the accusers subsequently quit or were fired, and four later sued the attorney general under the state’s whistleblower law.

In a revised court complaint, that group claimed they have information that suggests Paul “was involved in” the 2020 remodeling of a home in Austin that Paxton purchased in 2018. They do not spell out what this evidence is nor detail Paul’s alleged role in the renovation.

Paxton’s defense attorney, Philip Hilder, declined to comment. The attorney general has broadly denied wrongdoing.

Paul’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Paul has been under FBI investigation since at least 2019. Last year, he launched a campaign of counter allegations against the agents, federal judges and other businessmen and officials.

Paxton hired an outside lawyer to investigate these claims in September before dropping the case when it became public. The hire was one of four acts that appeared to help Paul and prompted Paxton’s eight top deputies to report him to the FBI for alleged abuse of office and bribery.

Paul gave $25,000 to Paxton’s 2018 reelection campaign and employs a woman with whom the attorney general allegedly had an extramarital affair, but the full nature of their relationship remains unclear.

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