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Paxton trial updates: Whistleblower Ryan Vassar to resume testimony Friday morning

By Texas Tribune Staff, The Texas Tribune

Paxton trial updates: Whistleblower Ryan Vassar to resume testimony Friday morning” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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The historic impeachment trial of suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton is underway in the Texas Senate. He faces 16 articles of impeachment that accuse him of misusing the powers of the attorney general’s office to help his friend and donor Nate Paul, an Austin real estate investor who was under federal investigation. Paxton pleaded not guilty to all impeachment articles on the trial’s first day. His defense attorneys have vowed to disprove the accusations and said they will present evidence showing they are based on assumptions, not facts.

Whistleblower Ryan Vassar to resume testimony Friday morning

On day 4 of Ken Paxton’s impeachment trial, Ryan Vassar, former Deputy Attorney General for Legal Counsel, is expected to resume testimony.

Vassar, one of the whistleblowers who reported Paxton to the FBI, choked up on the stand on Wednesday when he was questioned about his loyalty to his boss.

“It was hurtful,” Vassar said, when asked about his response to Paxton’s public criticism that the whistleblowers were “rogue” employees. “The statement of being rogue is contrary to the years that I dedicated my life to the state.”

During cross examination, Paxton’s attorney Mitch Little grilled Vassar on whether he had physical evidence he presented to the FBI when he and others reported Paxton.

“We had no evidence that we could point to but we had reasonable conclusions that we could draw,” Vassar said. Vassar added that it was law enforcement’s responsibility to investigate and collect evidence.

The Senate is expected to begin at 9 a.m. as the cross examination continues.

— Rebekah Allen

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