AUSTIN (The Texas Tribune) — Nate Paul, the Austin real estate developer central to allegations of illegal conduct by Ken Paxton, Texas’ now-suspended attorney general, was booked into the Travis County Jail Thursday on a federal warrant.
Paul was booked into the jail at 4:25 p.m., said Kristen Dark, a spokesperson for the Travis County Sheriff’s Office. The arresting agency is the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Gerry Morris, one of Paul’s attorneys, told KXAN that Paul denies all allegations and will be pleading not guilty.
Calls to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District and Paxton were also not immediately returned. When KXAN reached out to the FBI’s San Antonio office, a spokeswoman said “Department of Justice guidelines do not allow me to provide more information at this time.”
It’s not immediately clear whether his arrest is related to those allegations, but Paul is at the center of the abuse of office complaints against Paxton, a three-term Republican attorney general who was impeached by the Texas House last month. Paxton is currently suspended from his official duties and awaiting an impeachment trial in the Senate, which would require a two-thirds vote to permanently remove him from office.
Former top deputies in Paxton’s office claimed in 2020 that Paxton was using his office to benefit Paul, a friend and political donor, in legal disputes. Paul is an Austin real estate investor and the former employees told authorities Paxton ordered staff in the attorney general’s office to get involved in legal disputes related to Paul’s businesses. Those reports led to an FBI investigation.
Prior to the former employees’ reports, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies were already investigating Paul’s businesses. In late 2019, the feds and the Texas Department of Public Safety had raided Paul’s homes and businesses.
KXAN’s Monica Madden reached out to Paxton’s impeachment prosecutors Dick DeGuerin and Rusty Hardin for a comment on Paul’s arrest. Hardin said they were not informed about anything related to the federal investigation, including anything about the arrest or charges against Paul.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at www.texastribune.org. The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans – and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
(KXAN contributed to this report)