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Appeals court upholds fraud charges against Texas Attorney General Paxton

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A Dallas appeals court upheld Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s three state indictments for felony fraud on Wednesday, the Dallas Morning News reported.

The newspaper said Paxton, a Republican, likely would appeal the decision to the highest criminal court in Texas.

Paxton was indicted by a grand jury last year on charges of defrauding investors and illegally acting as a securities agent. He faces similar charges in federal court.

Kent Schaffer, a Houston lawyer acting as a special prosecutor in the case, confirmed the Morning News report in an email.

A lawyer for Paxton, Dan Cogdell, said in an email the defense team would weigh in coming days whether to bring the ruling before the Court of Criminal Appeals.

The Fifth Court of Appeals ruled that three of the arguments Paxton used to challenge his indictments could not be considered at this point in the process, the Morning News said. A fourth argument was invalid, the court said.

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The newspaper said Paxton’s first three arguments dealt with whether the judge who empanelled the grand jury that indicted him had done so improperly. The fourth argued that one of the state laws Paxton is accused of violating is unconstitutional and trumped by similar federal law.

Paxton has contended he is being targeted because of his Christian beliefs.

Paxton said last year that Texas county clerks who objected to gay marriage on religious grounds could refuse to license same-sex couples despite the U.S. Supreme Court ruling requiring states to allow same-sex marriage.

He could be disbarred for advising state officials to violate a Supreme Court decision.

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Paxton faces two security fraud charges related to stock sales and compensation from the Texas technology firm Servergy. He also faces charges he illegally acted as a securities agent for a separate firm.

(Writing by Ian Simpson in Washington; Editing by Diane Craft)

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Virginia Democrats are so fired up that the party chair had to scold them: ‘Sit down — be quit’

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Democrats in Virginia are fired up as they gathered in Richmond for their annual gala dinner.

Political analysts believe the Democratic Party of Virginia has a good chance to win control of the state legislature in 2019's election, before setting their sights on the Commonwealth continuing its recent trend of voting Democratic in presidential elections.

Patrick Wilson, a political reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, attended the event.

He reported that Democrats were so "noisy" that it was hard to hear the speakers, which include presidential candidates Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

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‘Everyone knows what to expect’ at Trump’s Amway Center re-election kickoff

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Donald Trump considers himself a legendary salesman, but can he really sell America on giving him four more drama-filled years at the White House?

Tuesday, he'll make his big pitch.

The 2020 reelection kickoff rally is being held in Orlando, Florida and campaign operations chief Michael Glassner says the "historic" event "has already generated tens of thousands of ticketing requests."

There's little mystery about how the night will go down.

Expect Trump, the self-promoting hero of his ghost-written book "The Art of the Deal," to claim the US economy is richer, the military stronger, and the country more respected than ever in history.

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Florida man’s own family blasts him after he was arrested for racist threats: ‘This isn’t how we were raised’

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After a Florida man was arrested for trying to start a race war, a member of his own family slammed his values.

"A Florida man’s social media posts that threatened violence against African-Americans, Jews and homosexuals and that urged his followers to start a race war netted him a $1 million bond," the Miami Herald reported Saturday. "And then there’s another $100,000 bond he would have to pay to get out of Lee County Jail because of a weapons charge."

Joshua Leff, 40, is being held in the Lee County Jail.

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