Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton has done all he can over the past 21 months, but his hands have been tied by the courts, he said in an interview with the Washington Examiner on Thursday.
“The Biden administration would be walking through a lot of stuff if Texas weren’t in this fight, which is the whole reason they want me out,” Paxton claimed. “There’s a lot of effort by the media, by Democrats, by even some moderate Republicans to make sure that I don’t win my election.”
Texas has waged more lawsuits against the Biden administration than any other state. Texas and the U.S. government are named in more than 30 lawsuits ranging from abortion and transgender policies to Google’s biometric data collection and border security.
Despite Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s tough talk about the border, Paxton divulged that Austin’s path forward in getting Washington to stop the crisis looked bleak.
Republicans inside and outside the Lone Star State have pressured the Abbott administration to legally declare an invasion at the border and trigger parts of the U.S. Constitution that allow states to defend themselves. Paxton said that measure is not on the table, in part because he is worried the federal government could use his own troops against him.
“The idea is we would send the National Guard down. The problem is the National Guard could easily be taken over by Biden, who’d say, ‘No, I’m in charge now,'” Paxton said. “So then what do you do? Send state police down to the border and tell them to stop Border Patrol from taking people in? … Are we supposed to start shooting the Border Patrol?”
Although Paxton said he views the situation at the border as an “invasion,” he added that he did not know how declaring one would help the state.
“The Supreme Court has said that states can’t create their own laws to do the same things,” said Paxton, referring to federal immigration laws. “So that leaves governors in a very difficult spot.”
Paxton is seeking a third term in three weeks and running against Democrat Rochelle Garza.
Although he has an edge over Garza, Paxton’s legal troubles could complicate his chances at the polls in November. He was indicted in 2015 on felony securities charges, which he claimed was a political hit job in response to his targeting the Obama administration. Over the past seven years, the case has failed to go to trial.
“That’s been hanging over my head for seven years. I think that’s on purpose. They’ve left it there,” said Paxton. “There’s a right to a speedy trial — constitutional right, which is usually somewhere within the first year.”
Paxton maintained his innocence and pointed to a state lawsuit he won against the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“I was completely cleared of it twice,” Paxton said. “All they do is they try to run you out of money. … They try to force you out of office because you can’t afford your spending when I’m spending more on legal fees than I make.”