Trump says ‘very talented’ Paxton possible AG pick

Trump says ‘very talented’ Paxton possible AG pick
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Former President Trump said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton would be a strong choice to run the Justice Department in a future Trump administration.

In a conversation Sunday with Fox 4 Dallas-Fort Worth at the National Rifle Association convention, Trump said he would consider Paxton for role of attorney general.

“We have a lot of people who want that one and will be very good at it. But he’s a very talented guy,” Trump said.

He also framed the attorney general’s acquittal in last year’s impeachment by the Texas House as a joint victory.

“I fought for him when he had the difficulty, and we won,” Trump said. “He had some people really after him, and I thought it was very unfair. He’s been a good attorney general.”

The two politicians have for the past year supported each other in their legal travails.

Paxton was at Trump’s hush money trial in New York last month to show his support for the former president, who is accused of improper payments related to the silencing of an adult film actor with whom he had allegedly had an affair.

“With President Trump in NYC to sit through this sham of a trial,” Paxton, a three-term Republican, wrote on the social platform X. “This trial is a travesty of justice. I stand with Trump.”

For his part, Trump has claimed credit for Paxton’s acquittal in last year’s trial on charges of bribery and abuse of his office.

The former president wrote on Truth Social at the time that his intervention “saved Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton from going down at the hands of Democrats and some Republicans.”

The former president had threatened to target Republicans who voted in favor of impeachment — a threat he has made good on.

Paxton had been charged with using the state attorney general’s office to attack the political enemies of his donors, particularly Austin real estate developer Nate Paul.

The House prosecutors alleged Paul had bribed Paxton with marble countertops and a job for his mistress.

While the Texas House voted overwhelmingly to impeach Paxton, all but two Republicans in the Texas Senate ultimately voted to acquit him.

In March’s Republican primary, Paxton and other leading state officials, including Gov. Greg Abbott (R), waged a chaotic but largely successful campaign to purge the House of Republicans who had defied them, as The Hill reported.

As part of that challenge, House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont), a conservative Republican who led the impeachment effort against Paxton, was nearly unseated and now faces a powerful runoff challenge from a MAGA-affiliated attorney, David Covey.

In January, Trump endorsed Covey, whose runoff showdown with Phelan is later this month.

A private suit filed by four conservative Republican whistleblowers Paxton fired from his office for reporting him to the FBI is still ongoing.

Paxton has been an active and enthusiastic litigant against the Biden administration — at one point drawing censure from the Texas State Bar Association for his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Trump’s favor.

On Monday, he won a temporary restraining order from a Texas court in a lawsuit he filed against the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which had sought to regulate the private market in guns.

The court barred the agency from enforcing the measure while the case was litigated.

Paxton praised the court Sunday for blocking a measure he said would subject private gun sellers “to presumptions of criminal guilt for engaging in constitutionally protected activities.”

In his interview with the Fox affiliate, Trump blamed congressional Democrats for the failure to pass reforms that could prevent future mass shootings.

Asked if Congress was doing everything necessary to prevent another massacre like the one two years ago in Uvalde — in which 19 children and two teachers died at the hands of a school shooter while police waited outside and in the hallway — Trump said no.

“The Democrats are holding everything up. They want to stop anything having to do with safety, law and order.”

“They’re supposed to be bad words,” the former president said of law and order, “but they’re not bad words.”

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