Texas solicitor general latest exit in embattled AG’s office

Texas’
solicitor
general
who
did
not
join
embattled
Attorney
General
Ken
Paxton’s
failed
efforts
to
overturn
the
2020
election
results
is
resigning

election
is
resigning,
a
person
with
knowledge
of
the
move
told
The
Associated
Press.

Solicitor
General
Kyle
Hawkins
informed
Paxton’s
office
of
his
plans
to
resign
on
Tuesday,
said
the
person,
who
spoke
on
condition
of
anonymity
because
the
move
had
not
been
announced
publicly.
It
was
not
immediately
clear
why
he
resigned
or
exactly
when
he
will
leave
office.

Hawkins’
departure
is
set
to
be
the
latest
exit
of
a
senior
official
in
Paxton’s
office
since
September,
when
the
Republican’s
top
deputies
accused
him
of
bribery
and
abuse
of
office
on
behalf
of
a
donor.
All
eight
of
his
accusers
have
since
quit
or
been
fired,
and
their
accusations
are
the
focus
of
an
FBI
investigation
into
Paxton.

Neither
Paxton’s
office
nor
Hawkins
immediately
returned
requests
for
comment
Wednesday.

Solicitor
general
is
one
of
the
most
prominent
positions
in
the
Texas
attorney
general’s
office,
where
Republican
Sen.
Ted
Cruz
once
held
the
job.
The
solicitor
general
typically
leads
and
argues
cases
before
the
U.S.
Supreme
Court.

But
in
December,
Hawkins
left
his
name
off
a
Texas
lawsuit
backed
by
President
Donald
Trump
that
asked
the
Supreme
Court
to
overturn
President-elect
Joe
Biden’s
victory.
The
court’s
rejection
of
the
case
amounted
to
a
stark
repudiation
of
a
legal
claim
that
was
widely
regarded
as
dubious.

election
challenge.
Hawkins
argued
a
major
case
before
the
Supreme
Court
as
recently
as
November,
during
the
latest
Republican-led
effort
to
dismantle
the
Affordable
Care
Act.

Paxton
has
denied
wrongdoing
after
former
staff
accused
him
of
crimes
in
the
service
of
a
wealthy
donor,
who
also
employs
a
woman
with
whom
the
attorney
general
allegedly
had
an
extramarital
affair.
Separately,
Paxton
is
awaiting
trial
on
felony
charges
from
2015
that
accuse
him
of
defrauding
investors
in
a
Texas
startup
technology
company.
He
has
pleaded
not
guilty.

Paxton
spoke
at
Trump’s
rally
in
Washington
last
week
before
the
deadly
siege
on
the
U.S.
Capitol.
He
later
made
false
claims
on
social
media
that
Trump
supporters
were
not
those
responsible.

On
Wednesday,
47
state
attorneys
general
signed
a
letter
condemning
the
riot
at
the
Capitol
as
“a
direct,
physical
challenge
to
the
rule
of
law
and
our
democratic
republic
itself.”
The
letter
sent
to
Acting
U.S.
Attorney
General
Jeffrey
Rosen
called
on
those
charged
with
enforcing
the
law
to
ensure
that
lawless
violence
does
not
go
unchecked.

Paxton
did
not
join
the
letter.

———

Weber
reported
from
Austin,
Texas.

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