Scandal-Scarred Ken Paxton Supports His Pal Trump in Court

Justin Lane/Getty
Justin Lane/Getty

While Melania Trump has steered well clear of her husband’s legal proceedings, the former president had a curious supporter present in Manhattan Criminal Court on Tuesday for his landmark hush-money trial: MAGA-fied Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Paxton, who last month settled felony securities fraud charges by agreeing to fork over nearly $300,000 in restitution for misleading investors in a Dallas-area tech startup, along with a promise to do 100 hours of community service and undergo 15 hours of legal ethics training, was seated in the front row of Courtroom 1530.

“With President Trump in NYC to sit through this sham of a trial,” Paxton posted to X, formerly Twitter, prior to his arrival at the Lower Manhattan courthouse. “This trial is a travesty of justice. I stand with Trump.”

He arrived at the courthouse around 8:30 a.m. with Trump and his entourage of attorneys and Secret Service agents.

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The embattled former president’s adult son Eric was also on hand for Tuesday’s session, marking the first appearance by a Trump family member since the trial began earlier this month. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for the 2020 presidential election, is facing 34 felony counts over a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels in the runup to the 2016 election so she’d keep quiet about an alleged one-night stand she had with the then-candidate.

If convicted, Trump faces up to four years in prison.

Paxton dodged potential prison time of his own by copping a plea with prosecutors, who indicted the Lone Star State AG in 2015. He was also charged civilly in the fraud case by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, but a federal judge dismissed the complaint in 2017. (The CEO of the tech firm in question was found liable by a jury and ordered to pay $22,500 in restitution. He later found work as an Uber driver, according to a 2018 court filing.)

In September, Paxton managed to beat misconduct, bribery, and corruption charges in an impeachment trial over allegations of abuse of office.

“The Ken Paxton Victory is sooo BIG,” Trump posted at the time on his Truth Social microblogging platform. “WOW!!!”

He also took credit for Paxton’s acquittal, posting, “It was my honor to have helped correct this injustice!”

For his part, Paxton attempted to help Trump reverse his loss to Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, for which he still may be punished by the State Bar of Texas. He also appeared at Trump’s fateful January 6, 2021 “Stop the Steal” rally that eventually ended in violence at the U.S. Capitol.

It is unclear if Paxton was also tending to state business in New York City on Tuesday, or if he made the trip especially for Trump.

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