From The Texas Newsroom:
Nate Paul, the Austin-based businessman with close ties to Ken Paxton at the center of the suspended attorney general’s impeachment, was arrested Thursday in Travis County.
According to the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, Paul was arrested by the FBI and booked at 4:25 p.m. Records list Paul on a “federal detainer” on unknown “felony” charges. Paul was still in custody as of 8:30 p.m.
The FBI declined to comment. An attorney for Paul didn’t immediately return a request for comment from The Texas Newsroom.
The reason for the arrest — and whether it’s connected to Paxton — is currently unclear.
In recent years, Paul and his company World Class Holdings have been involved in several controversies. Since 2019, Paul has been sued by multiple investors and, according to Forbes, the FBI raided “Paul’s sprawling 9,175-square-foot Austin home (and) the downtown Austin offices of his World Class Holdings” that same year.
Lately, Paul has been all over news reports in Texas and across the country because of his ties to Ken Paxton, the state’s suspended attorney general.
Paxton was impeached by the Republican-led Texas House of Representatives after investigators accused Paxton of a long list of crimes and violations, including constitutional bribery, dereliction of duty, misapplication of public resources.
Most of the allegations are related to Paul, one of Paxton’s political donors.
Attorneys for Ken Paxton didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from The Texas Newsroom.
According to investigators, in 2019 Paxton asked his top deputies for legal advice on a disputed records request involving Paul. The real estate developer asked for access to sealed information concerning a search warrant by federal agents against himself.
Paxton’s advisors told the attorney general to not release the documents, House investigators said. However, the Republican later hired an outside attorney to issue grand jury subpoenas to help Paul in his fight against the federal government.
In 2020, Paxton also asked his office to draft an opinion on whether foreclosure sales violated the COVID-19 restrictions in place during that time. At the time, Paul had several homes at risk of foreclosure.
“The whistleblowers believe that the only logical reason was that General Paxton wanted the opinion completed before the foreclosure sales,” investigator Mark Donnelly said last month.
Eventually, the top deputies reported Paxton to the FBI. They were later fired.
The whistleblowers then sued the Office of the Attorney General and recently reached a $3.3 million settlement. However, the Texas Legislature has not funded the agreement.