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Lawyer currently leading Texas attorney general’s office has been swept up in Ken Paxton’s legal cha


The Texas Tribune by Alexa Ura May 29, 2023

Lawyer currently leading Texas attorney general’s office has been swept up in Ken Paxton’s legal challenges

Brent Webster came to the Texas attorney general’s office in 2020. His work as Ken Paxton’s top aide was quickly mired in controversy.

In the state’s extensive log of high-profile court fights — from immigration to voting to a failed effort to overturn the 2020 election — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s name on legal filings is always trailed by another: Brent Webster, first assistant attorney general.

Following the Texas House’s Saturday vote to impeach Paxton, the attorney general’s second-in-command has temporarily become the state’s top lawyer.

The stunning vote immediately suspended Paxton from his duties and elevated a relatively unknown attorney into the place of a popular statewide officeholder. Webster is now in charge of a sprawling agency that serves as both the state’s law firm, working on routine matters like child support enforcement, and as a legal juggernaut helping to advance the Republican Party’s priorities in the courts. Paxton’s deputy since 2020, the self-proclaimed “constitutional conservative” has indicated he doesn’t plan to stray from the attorney general’s approach to the job.

In a Saturday email to agency employees, Webster touted the agency’s credentials as a foil to “the Biden Administration’s illegal actions.”

“The State of Texas has had no better elected official than Ken Paxton defending citizen’s rights, fighting for justice, and preserving freedom,” Webster wrote. “Thank you for your continued excellence and hard work during this time. You can rest assured that the executive team will continue to work tirelessly. We will continue to be the best legal team in America.”

It’s unclear how long Webster will remain at the helm. State law puts him in charge if the attorney general is “absent or unable to act.” Gov. Greg Abbott can decide to appoint someone to temporarily fill the vacancy. Abbott is a former attorney general himself with deep ties in the conservative legal universe, but he’s so far been silent on Paxton’s impeachment.

Webster’s tenure at the attorney general’s office began in October 2020 in the wake of the staffing shakeup that would ultimately lead to Paxton’s impeachment over allegations of misconduct, including bribery and abuse of office.



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