AUSTIN — On the sixth day of the impeachment trial of Attorney General Ken Paxton, a witness called by the House Board of Managers testified that one of the impeachment articles was entirely false.
Brandon Cammack, a Houston lawyer hired by Paxton as outside counsel to review claims made by Nate Paul of illegal actions on the part of law enforcement, said on cross-examination that key claims made by the House managers were false.
Whistleblowers from the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) went to the FBI and claimed Paxton acted illegally when hiring Cammack. Their allegations formed the primary basis of the impeachment articles.
Impeachment Article 5 reads, “While holding office as attorney general, Warren Kenneth Paxton misused his official powers by violating the laws governing the appointment of prosecuting attorneys pro tem.”
“Specifically, Paxton engaged Brandon Cammack, a licensed attorney, to conduct an investigation into a baseless complaint, during which Cammack issued more than 30 grand jury subpoenas, in an effort to benefit Nate Paul or Paul’s business entities,” the article continued.
However, during his testimony, Cammack undermined the key elements of the article.
During direct examination, he claimed that Paxton had initially suggested he would be a special prosecutor for the OAG but noted that his contract referred to him as “outside counsel” only.
On cross-examination, defense lawyer Dan Cogdell asked, “Will you agree with me, Mr. Cammack, that you were not a prosecuting attorney pro tem, right?”
Cammack agreed with Cogdell, acknowledging that he was never asked to be and never thought he was an OAG employee with the title alleged in the impeachment article. Other witnesses, including several whistleblowers, admitted earlier in the trial that Paxton had the legal authority to hire outside counsel.
Referring to the next portion of the article, Cogdell asked, “You will agree with me, Mr. Cammack, that you were not a part of an investigation into a baseless complaint?”
Cammack said he did not believe that the investigation was baseless.
During an exchange with Rusty Hardin, an attorney for the House, Cammack said that complaints made by Nate Paul concerning potential criminal misconduct by government agencies in the execution of search warrants on his properties were concerning and convincing.
Describing Paul as someone who was “energetic, passionate, [and] had a lot of conviction,” Cammack said, “I was convinced by what I was shown,” referring to evidence provided to him that allegedly supported the complaint.
“If the allegations they were making were true, that would be serious,” he added, noting that Paxton never pressured him to reach a certain conclusion but only to “find the truth.”
On cross-examination, Cammack confirmed his belief that the investigation was not baseless.
“I was convinced there was something there,” he said, noting that “from my set of eyes looking at it, I thought it was pretty persuasive.”
The third element in the impeachment article — that the purpose of Cammack’s investigation was to benefit Nate Paul — was similarly denied by Cammack.
“I didn’t even know Mr. Paul or his properties,” he said, noting further that he pursued the investigation with the sole purpose of doing what Paxton told him to do: find the truth.
As reported by The Dallas Express, Paxton’s defense team has been working to poke holes in the main allegations made by the House against the embattled attorney general.
Furthermore, several key witnesses may have violated state law by sending subpoenas issued by Cammack to a lawyer they had retained to represent them in their actions against Paxton. The lawyer had been affiliated with former President George W. Bush, the uncle of Paxton’s most recent primary challenger, George P. Bush, as reported by The Dallas Express.