Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore formally distanced her office Friday from an investigation urged by Attorney General Ken Paxton’s friend and donor, and she pointedly questioned the “integrity” of his role in it.
Paxton has argued that he only pursued an investigation urged by his donor, Austin real estate investor Nate Paul, after getting a referral from Moore’s office. Moore already told the Houston Chronicle that it was Paxton who first brought Paul’s request for an investigation to her and not the other way around.
A letter she sent Paxton Friday upped the ante and made clear her office is cutting all ties to the probe. She noted all the revelations that have come out in recent days — revelations that demonstrate Paxton has more than gone out of his way to assist Paul and his troubled real estate dealings.
“Any action you have already taken or will take pursuing this investigation is done solely on your own authority as provided by Texas law,” Moore said. “The newly surfaced information raises serious concerns about the integrity of your investigation and the propriety of your conducting it.”
She said the referral of the Paul matter from her office to his — now in the hands of an outside Houston lawyer Paxton hired — “cannot be used as any indication of a need for an investigation …or an endorsement of your acceptance of the referral.”
Paxton’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.