AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is leading a last-ditch effort to overturn election results in four battleground states lost by President Donald Trump, said he has not discussed a presidential pardon with the White House for his own legal troubles.
Paxton, a loyal ally of Trump, faces a 5-year-old indictment on felony securities fraud charges and is reportedly being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for bribery and misuse of office.
“I’ve had no discussions with anything about… anything like that,” Paxton said.
Texas’ lawsuit brought against Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin in the U.S. Supreme Court claims last-minute changes before the election in each of the states violated the U.S. Constitution and “skewed” election results in favor of President-elect Joe Biden.
On Wednesday, Trump intervened in Paxton’s lawsuit, which is now backed by 17 other states, each won by the president.
There has been no evidence that widespread voter fraud impacted the 2020 presidential election.
“I think this is important, not just for this election,” Paxton said in an interview. “This isn’t just about Joe Biden and Donald Trump, this is about the future of our elections.”
Paxton’s lawsuit requests that the Supreme Court delays a Dec. 14 deadline for state electors to report election results and to remedy the “unconstitutional” elections. The four battleground states have until tomorrow to respond to Paxton’s lawsuit.
David Coale, a Dallas-based attorney, expects the Supreme Court to reject Texas’ lawsuit over the weekend.
“That is a remarkable request to make of a federal court, particularly a very conservative federal court that has been very protective of state’s rights in history,” Coale said.
Jim Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas, said Paxton’s election lawsuit diverts attention from his own legal challenges while appealing to the strong support Trump maintains among Republicans, but comes at a cost to the electoral process.
“It’s an absurd exercise,” Henson said. “When you’re pursuing politics to the detriment of institutions, I think it raises important questions and particularly when it seems profoundly self-interested.”
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), a former Texas attorney general, told CNN he is struggling to understand the legal theory behind Paxton’s lawsuit.
“I’m not convinced,” Cornyn said.