New Paxton Prosecutor Gave Cash to Opponent’s Campaign

Former Texas Supreme Court Justice Harriet O’Neill, Texas Tribune

The Senate trial for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is set to start September 5, and the latest attorney that has been added to the prosecution team has a history of contributing to his political opponents.

Harriet O’Neill, who formerly served on the Supreme Court of Texas, joined the House’s prosecution team this week. In the announcement O’Neill said she was looking forward to the trial and said “The facts in this case are clear, compelling and decisive, and I look forward to presenting them before the members of the Texas Senate.”

Campaign finance records raise some questions on whether or not she can be impartial when she has a record contributing to opponents of Ken Paxton.

In June 2021, O’Neill gave $2,500 to Eva Guzman, Paxton’s opponent in the 2022 Republican primary. Guzman came in third in that election.

O’Neill also contributed to the Tommy Merritt’s campaign against Sid Miller for agriculture commissioner in 2014. Texas Scorecard rated Merritt as one of the most liberal Republican lawmakers when he served in the Texas House.

O’Neill will make $500 per hour, in addition to expenses during this trial.

O’Neill served for 18 years as a district and appellate judge before returning to private practice in 2010.

In another development in the impeachment case, L.t. Governor Dan Patrick issued a discovery order on Wednesday requiring that the House impeachment managers share any relevant information and documents with Paxtons legal team. Paxton’s legal defense lawyer, Tony Buzbee, recently accused the impeachment team of withholding information vital to Paxton’s defense.


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