Texas attorney general and Dukes of Hazard villain Ken Paxton is not pleased with former deputy chief of consumer protection John Owens. Ownes recently spoke to reporters and disclosed that a state investigation of Trump University was shut down for political reasons by then-attorney general and current Governor Greg Abbott.
We don't necessarily have to take Owens' word for it. Greg Abbott's campaign received a $35,000 donation from Donald Trump shortly after Abbott dropped the investigation. That's not exactly a slam-dunk, but it certainly lends credence to the accusation.
The Abbott administration could have simply denied the accusations and moved on, but Attorney General Ken Paxton has gone a step further by sending a cease and desist letter to John Owens.
In a letter dated Friday, First Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Mateer asks John Owens to "immediately cease and desist from disclosing any privileged or confidential information" from his time in the office, which ended when he retired in 2011. [...]
"While everyone has First Amendment rights to free speech, the law strictly prohibits attorneys from releasing confidential and privileged information."
John Ownes has denied that he has released anything confidential or privileged and, ironically, Paxton's claim that Owens has released confidential information makes his accusation against Abbott seem even more credible.
Why would Paxton try to use the power of the state to silence a critic if the critic is wrong? If there's nothing to see here, why try to claim Owens has disclosed privileged information? If Owens simply made it up, how could it be privileged?
It wouldn't exactly be a big surprise if Paxton didn't think this all the way through.
As you know, Attorney General Ken Paxton is a little unsure how the law works. Paxton is currently facing criminal and civil charges for fraud. Paxton did not disclose that he was paid to lobby for a fraudulent business while he was a state representative.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's campaign also received a large $25,000 donation from Trump after dropping an investigation of Trump University.