Texas AG Charges Dropped

Texas GOP Attorney General Ken Paxton and American Conservative Union head Matt Schlapp saw major legal developments in their favor on Tuesday, potentially signaling resurgences for the two political heavyweights on the right.

After nine years of legal battles, Paxton reached an agreement with prosecutors to dismiss long-standing securities fraud charges, while a former Herschel Walker campaign staffer dropped sexual battery and defamation claims against Schlapp, ending a civil suit against him.

Paxton, who has been a vocal opponent of the Biden administration’s border policies, was indicted in 2015 for allegedly failing to disclose his financial stake in a technology firm when selling investments. The consent agreement reached on Tuesday means Paxton will pay $270,000 in restitution and complete 100 hours of community service. In exchange, all charges against him were dropped and he did not admit any wrongdoing. He was scheduled to appear before a jury in the near future.

Schlapp is perhaps best known as the organizer of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), an annual gathering of conservative leaders. He saw the end of a sexual battery and defamation suit brought against him by a former campaign staffer for Herschel Walker, a former NFL player. The staffer, Carlton Huffman, dropped the suit on Tuesday and issued a statement expressing regret for the “complete misunderstanding” that led to the accusations against the Schlapps. Huffman also stated that neither party paid him to dismiss the suit.

Both Paxton and Schlapp declared the resolutions to their cases as victories and expressed relief to put the legal battles behind them. Paxton emphasized his innocence, stating, “There will never be a conviction in this case nor am I guilty. The prosecution came to us to begin negotiations and we were able to come to an agreement on terms.” Schlapp similarly declared that the suit had caused pain to his family, but he was “relieved to finally have a resolution in this matter” and move forward with his work as head of the ACU.

The announcements from Paxton and Schlapp have drawn attention to other prominent conservatives who have faced legal scrutiny only to be ultimately exonerated. Former President Donald Trump, for instance, was recently alleged by a former aide to have attempted to take the steering wheel of the presidential SUB on the day of the Capitol insurrection, but new information has since surfaced contradicting the claim.

Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz also faced allegations of involvement in a sex trafficking ring, but the Department of Justice did not bring any charges against him. Additionally, the Supreme Court unanimously vacated former Virginia GOP Governor Bob McDonnell’s 11 corruption charges in 2016, further highlighting the dangers of false or exaggerated allegations against conservative figures.

Many on the right have interpreted these cases as examples of “lawfare,” in which left-wing media outlets and political opponents use the legal system to target and discredit conservative leaders. Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch, declared that “it’s not just Trump, who has been victimized by lawfare,” but also figures like Matt Schlapp, Ken Paxton, and even everyday citizens who may find themselves on the radar of the left. The willingness of the media and opposing parties to spread and amplify accusations without evidence or investigation is a concern for conservatives, and the exoneration of Paxton and Schlapp may serve as a reminder to proceed with caution before jumping to conclusions about conservative leaders.

The outcome of these high-profile cases also highlights the importance of faith and family for many conservative figures. Both Paxton and Schlapp credited their faith in God for sustaining them and strengthening their relationships with their loved ones throughout the legal battles. Schlapp also emphasized the lesson he learned about standing firm in the face of opposition, stating, “We must stand our ground and fight or else the haters on the left will destroy every conservative and ultimately our nation.”

The allegations against Paxton and Schlapp may have ultimately been proven false, but the intense scrutiny and legal battles have taken a toll on their families and careers.


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