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Impeachment trial of Ken Paxton continues with former Chief of Staff on the stand

Impeachment trial of Ken Paxton continues with former Chief of Staff on the stand
Impeachment trial of Ken Paxton continues with former Chief of Staff on the stand 02:07

UPDATE 6:50 P.M.: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick adjourned court saying, "Tomorrow will be another long day." 

The trial resumes at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

UPDATE 6:30 P.M.: Buzbee passes the witness to the prosecution for questioning by Rusty Hardin.

UPDATE 6:07 P.M.: The defense begins cross-examination of Moore.

UPDATE: 5:35 P.M.: The eighth witness, Margaret Moore, a former Travis County DA, is on the stand.

UPDATE 5:20 P.M.: The trial resumes with Buzbee questioning Cox.

During his cross-examination, Buzbee challenged Cox, who said the district attorney's office under Margaret Moore would have investigated the potential offenses but were waved off by the federal government.

"You're telling me that this elected Democrat [former Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore]," Buzbee said. "… that she, as an elected Democrat decided 'stand down, Donald Trump says stand down'. You think that we really believe that foolishness?"    

UPDATE 4:55 P.M.: Trial is on break until 5:15 p.m.

UPDATE 4:25: The witness Katherine "Missy" Cary was excused. Gregg Cox is the next witness. Cox is a former director of special prosecutions at the Travis County DA's office.

Cox testified that he was first briefed about the situation with Nate Paul and Attorney General Ken Paxton in October 2020. He testified that after a series of meetings with different people, including Jeff Mateer, Mark Penley and David Maxwell, he drafted a memo of possible criminal offenses that could be investigated related to the situation.

When asked who the subject was of these possible criminal offenses, Cox said "primarily Ken Paxton."

The list of potential criminal offenses Cox listed in the memo includes bribery, abuse of official capacity, money laundering and tampering with a governmental record.

UPDATE 4:10 P.M.: Paxton's lawyers begin questioning Cary.

“Imagine if we impeached everybody here in Austin who had an affair." 00:15

UPDATE 3:50 P.M.:  Cary said both the Attorney General and his wife Sen. Angela Paxton acknowledged the affair in a meeting in October 2018. She called it an "uncomfortable experience," one that she had not had before. 

Cary said during that meeting, Sen. Paxton was "sad and embarrassed" and that she was crying.

In the summer of 2019, Cary said she learned the affair was ongoing. She testified that she heard about the situation from travel aids and security. According to Cary, when she spoke with Paxton about it again, he was frustrated that she was not being more accommodating of the affair and said that he loved Olson.

UPDATE 3:20 P.M.: Trial resumes.

UPDATE 3 P.M.: While eating lunch at a restaurant in the spring of 2018, Cary testified she overheard a conversation between a man and a woman that concerned her. She later learned the woman was Laura Olson, who Paxton has been accused of having an affair with.
Cary said she confronted Paxton that summer and he admitted to having an extramarital affair. She believed the conversation was productive and that Paxton would stop the affair.

Trial is on a break until 3:20 p.m.

UPDATE 2:30 P.M.: Missy Cary, who was Ken Paxton's former Chief of Staff, is now testifying. He promoted her. She worked for multiple Texas Attorneys General, including Greg Abbott and John Cornyn.

Cary was asked about the alleged affair Paxton had in the summer of 2018. Cary says she spoke with Paxton about the alleged mistress and discussed it with him ethical implications. She said Paxton's wife, Angela had called the office looking for him.  

UPDATE 2 P.M.: Under cross-examination Monday afternoon, Penley said initially Paxton asked him to seek the truth about what happened with the search warrants against Nate Paul and to let the results be what they were. 

Penley emphasized that was what initially happened. Paxton defense lawyer Mitch Little repeatedly challenged Penley on whether he had evidence showing Paxton was under the influence of Paul. 

Penley said he had circumstantial evidence and cited Paxton's "refusal to listen to common sense" as evidence.

UPDATE 1 P.M.: Trial has resumed.

UPDATE 12:15 P.M.: Trial is on a lunch break until 1 p.m.

UPDATE 12 P.M.: While working as a top deputy at the attorney general's office in 2020, Penley was confused as to why Paul would be turning to Paxton for help with legal trouble. 

As the months went on, he grew increasingly concerned by Paul's requests and Paxton's alleged willingness to try to accommodate them, Penley testified on Monday:

"I thought it was crazy and I was hoping the attorney general would drop it. He didn't."

After two initial meetings with Paul and his lawyer, Penley said he set up a third meeting with both and with Paxton to explain the office would not be moving forward with the case. According to Penley, this made Paul angry.

"Mr. Paul acted like we didn't understand who the real boss was," Penley said. "It wasn't the attorney general, it was him."
Penley said that although the attorney general initially seemed to agree with him, he did a 180.

"I was concerned the attorney general was turning against me, that he might fire me, because I wouldn't agree with what he wanted," he said.

Penley believed Paxton was under Paul's thumb and was possible even being blackmailed. He said he ultimately decided to go to the FBI with other whistleblowers, even though he believed it would lead to his firing, because he believed the situation to be dangerous and unique:

"We were the only ones who could stop it and we had to."

UPDATE 10:55 A.M.: Trial has resumed.

UPDATE 10:30 A.M.: Trial is on a 30 minute break.

UPDATE 10:25 A.M.: Penley describes how angry Paul was after he told him the AG's office wouldn't investigate federal authorities who executed a search warrant on Paul's home and businesses.

"Mr. Paul acted like we didn't understand who the real boss was. It wasn't the attorney general, it was him."

UPDATE 9:55 A.M.: During his testimony, Penley detailed his growing concern with the attorney general's relationship with real estate developer Nate Paul. 

According to Penley, in June 2020, Paxton asked him to investigate federal authorities who had executed search warrants on Paul's home and businesses. Penley said the thought of the state investigating these authorities was "insane."

UPDATE 9 A.M.: A fifth witness took the stand Monday morning. Mark Penley, who is a former top deputy of Paxton's, is another whistleblower.

The morning began with a moment of silence to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of 9/11. Sen. Brian Birdwell, a Republican from Granbury, led the prayer. Birdwell was in the Pentagon on 9/11 and was severely burned in the attack.

Following the prayer, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said senators could begin deliberating as soon as Thursday. They will continue until they reach a resolution and publicly vote on each article of impeachment.

AUSTIN ( – The historic impeachment trial of suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton enters its second week at the Texas Capitol Monday morning.

Week one wrapped up Friday with dramatic testimony from two former Paxton aides.

During the fourth day of testimony, senators heard from two witnesses, both whistleblowers.

Lawyers for the House Impeachment Managers haven't disclosed their next steps, but they will likely bring witnesses, including Paxton's executive assistant, to discuss the accusations of constitutional bribery against him.

Ken Paxton impeachment trial: Day 4 takeaways 01:55

Cross-examination of whistleblower and former Deputy Attorney General Ryan Vassar continued Friday morning.

On Thursday, Vassar notably became emotional when discussing being called a "rogue employee" by the attorney general.

After Vassar was excused Friday, another witness took the stand.

David Maxwell is another whistleblower. He previously served as director of law enforcement for the attorney general's office and is a former Texas Ranger.

During his testimony, Maxwell explained that he was asked to meet with Paul, who wanted the FBI and other law enforcement agencies investigated in relation to search warrants that had been executed on his business and home.

You can watch a live stream of the trial in the player above or on the CBS News Texas YouTube channel starting at 9 a.m.


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