Washington (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – On Thursday, Texas Senator John Cornin accused one of his party’s top leaders of calling a growing pile of accusations and legal problems against Attorney General Ken Paxton “embarrassing” days before the first round of elections.
Paxton, who on Tuesday won within reach of a Republican nomination to run for a third term, has been charged with a felony since 2015 on charges of securities fraud and is being investigated separately by the FBI after his major deputies accused him of corruption.
He faces Texas land commissioner George P. Bush, who held a second round in March but took 20 percentage points from Paxton in four-party primaries.
“He is the chief law enforcement officer of Texas, and I am embarrassed that this has not been resolved,” Cornin told reporters. “I myself, as a former Attorney General, am embarrassed by what we have to deal with.”
Paxton responded that Cornin “represents the wing of the Bush Republican Party” and that he was “not shocked” by the senator’s comments. “I will never refer to Senator Cornin’s ability to compromise with the Senate’s radical Democrats in the District of Columbia,” Paxton wrote on Twitter.
The remarks of Cornin, a former member of the Republican leadership of the Senate, are one of the sharpest public reproaches to Pexton by a high-ranking member of his party in connection with the rise of legal problems. Other Texas Republicans, including Gov. Greg Abbott, have previously expressed concern about the allegations against Paxton, but have generally stopped criticizing him.
Cornin’s comments appear when the Texas Bar Association is considering whether to punish Paxton for his attempts to unreasonably cancel the 2020 presidential election. The bar earlier this month filed a disciplinary case against Paxton’s deputy, and the attorney general said he expects the regulator to sue him for his efforts to undo Joe Biden’s presidential victory.
Pakstan pleaded not guilty to charges of securities fraud and generally dismissed accusations by his former employees that he used his office to help a wealthy donor.