In the ongoing impeachment trial of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, his defense lawyer, Tony Buzbee, accused Paxton’s former top aide, Jeff Mateer, of being disloyal and stabbing his boss in the back. According to Buzbee, Mateer should have confronted Paxton directly instead of going to the FBI with concerns. Buzbee questioned Mateer’s loyalty, reminding him that Paxton was his friend and had given him a great job.
The defense lawyer for Attorney General Ken Paxton accused the impeached official's former top aide of stabbing his boss in the back by going to the FBI with concerns before adequately confronting Paxton.https://t.co/yCHpPyYpfU
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) September 7, 2023
Mateer admitted that he did not talk to Paxton after the meeting with the FBI, but he did have a conversation with him before. Buzbee emphasized that Mateer had chosen to go to the FBI instead of asking Paxton questions to help his friend. These statements from Buzbee were an attempt to undermine Mateer’s credibility and paint him as unreliable.
The events leading up to Mateer’s decision to report to the FBI occurred in September, when he was called out of a meeting to receive an urgent message. It was then revealed to him that Paxton had hired an outside lawyer, Brandon Cammack, against his team’s advice. Mateer became increasingly concerned when he learned that Cammack had been identifying himself as a representative of the attorney general’s office, despite not working there. Mateer felt that the situation with Paxton and Cammack was a crisis and held a meeting with the deputies to discuss what actions to take.
On September 30, 2020, Mateer and the deputies went to the FBI. Mateer alleged that Paxton had hired Cammack to intervene in legal proceedings unrelated to his office and had also halted a foreclosure sale of a property belonging to Austin real estate investor Nate Paul. Mateer believed that Paxton’s actions were immoral, unethical, and possibly illegal. He also discovered that Paul had hired a former mistress of Paxton, which only added to his concerns. As a result, Mateer resigned on October 2, 2020, and filed a whistleblower complaint against Paxton.
Paxton, who pleaded not guilty to the 16 articles of impeachment, attended the trial’s first day but was absent on the second day. Mateer’s testimony raises serious questions about Paxton’s conduct and his decision-making as attorney general. The impeachment trial is proceeding, and Paxton’s defense team’s attempts to discredit Mateer may not be enough to save him from the potential consequences of his actions.