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Paxton prosecutors file their response briefs at the 5th Court of Appeals

In sum: Don’t think about Rick Perry!

Best mugshot ever

Best mugshot ever

A Travis County court’s decision to throw out Rick Perry’s abuse-of-power indictments should have no bearing on Ken Paxton’s securities fraud case, the team prosecuting the first-term attorney general wrote in their latest brief filed Monday.

“Comparing Rick Perry’s case with Mr. Paxton’s is like comparing Citizen Kane with Showgirls,” special prosecutor Brian Wice said late last month after a Travis County appeals court threw out the former governor’s indictments. “The prosecution of Rick Perry, not to mention Tom DeLay, was about the criminalization of politics. Mr. Paxton’s case is about the criminalization of securities fraud.”

Wice, along with fellow special prosecutors Kent Schaffer and Nicole DeBorde, filed a brief Monday with a Dallas-based appeals court responding to Paxton’s latest attempt to have his three felony indictments thrown out. In December, the judge presiding over the attorney general’s securities fraud case decided against quashing the charges, prompting Paxton to appeal that decision to the higher court in Dallas.

In his appeal, Paxton contended the grand jury that indicted him was improperly impaneled and that the state law he’s been charged with violating is both unconstitutionally vague and trumped by a different federal law.

The special prosecutors denied all three claims in their Monday filing, saying a court could not come to these conclusions without first hearing all the evidence at trial. They repeated their arguments that the judge who impaneled the grand jury used the same method he and others employed for many other grand juries, that state law holds in this case and that the statute was clear in its meaning.

“Persons of ordinary intelligence would not have to guess at the plain and common meaning of the term ‘investment adviser representative’ or where to turn ‘to determine who is an [IAR] or who may be penalized for failing to register,’ ” the prosecutors wrote.

See here for the background. Wice’s defense attorney roots are showing here, as he has bought into the Perry defense team’s characterization of that case, which as you know is not mine. It is the CCA’s, however, and they’re the ones who count, so one hopes that Wice’s talent for turning a phrase will help here. Both prosecution and defense have asked for oral arguments, so expect that to be scheduled soon. As the story notes, there could then be a ruling by June or so, though things bog down considerably if an appeal to the CCA follows. For now, at least, things are moving along at a steady clip.

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