Editorials

Paxton case should go to trial

THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, right, looks at one of the special prosecutors during a pre-trial motion hearing at the Collin County Courthouse on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, in McKinney, Texas.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, right, looks at one of the special prosecutors during a pre-trial motion hearing at the Collin County Courthouse on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, in McKinney, Texas. Dallas Morning News

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is getting closer to the goal his attorney announced when he was indicted more than a year ago on three counts of felony securities fraud.

“He is looking forward to the opportunity to tell his side of the story in the courtroom,” Dallas attorney Joe Kendall said on Aug. 3, 2015, after Paxton turned himself in to Collin County authorities.

Kendall is no longer a member of Paxton’s defense team, which now includes nine attorneys from Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano and Frisco.

You have to guess the principle still applies: The best way for Paxton to clear his name is to defeat the charges in court. He must be anxious to do that.

Legal experts say a trial could happen next spring. On Wednesday, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s top criminal court, declined to hear a package of appeals challenging, among other things, the law under which Paxton was indicted and the way the grand jury that indicted him was put together.

You can’t blame Paxton and his lawyers for trying to get their case thrown out before trial. After all, it worked for former Gov. Rick Perry. In February, the Court of Criminal Appeals dismissed the last of Perry’s 2014 abuse-of-power indictment.

Paxton’s lawyers failed in their attack on his indictment. Soon they should have the opportunity to fight the charges against him at trial.

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