Ken Paxton impeachment: Branch Davidian connects 3 people facing off on day 4

On day four of the Ken Paxton impeachment trial, a former Texas Ranger, now in the Hall of Fame, was questioned about his investigative duties while at the attorney general’s office. 

David Maxwell is one of the whistleblowers who went to the FBI with complaints about Paxton.

Paxton is facing 16 articles of impeachment.

The face off for much of the day Friday was between three people who have a unique connection: the Branch Davidian. Dan Cogdell defended one of the survivors who faced federal murder charges, Dick DeGuerin was David Koresh’s criminal defense attorney, and David Maxwell was one of the lead investigators with the Texas Rangers.

"To jump back way back in time which one of the first times I met you, Mr. DeGuerin famously walked into the Branch Davidian compound during the seize in 1993," Paxton’s defense attorney Dan Cogdell said.

Thirty years later, they’re now in the chamber together.

Maxwell, Paxton’s former director of law enforcement, said on the witness stand that Attorney General Ken Paxton wanted him to do something he couldn’t and wouldn’t, and it ended up costing him his career.

"My opinion was that Nate Paul was a criminal and that we should not be associated with Nate Paul," Maxwell said.

Maxwell said Paxton wanted him to meet with Austin developer and political donor, Nate Paul. Maxwell said Paul’s ‘conspiracy theory’ was that a group of federal and state law enforcement officers, including a senior magistrate judge, altered a search warrant for his property.

"My evaluation of the allegations made by Nate Paul were that they were absolutely Ludacris and without merit, no probable cause, not even a reason to believe that a crime had been committed," Maxwell said.

Maxwell said he met with him several times, and at one point, in a meeting with Paxton, it got heated.

"During the meeting he was supporting Nate Paul’s position which was that we needed to do an investigation, and he was pretty adamant about it," Maxwell said.

Maxwell said he wasn’t going to investigate.

"I told him that Nate Paul was a criminal, he was running a Ponzi scheme that would rival Billie Sol Estes and if he didn’t get away from this individual and stop what he was doing, he was going to get himself indicted," Maxwell said.

Maxwell said since he refused to investigate, he was placed on investigative leave and eventually fired.


"In firing me, at the time I was 71 years old and had risen to a top level of law enforcement, in effect when he fired me and berated me in the news, he ended my career," Maxwell said.

Cogdell, Paxton’s defense attorney, said Maxwell had no reason to not investigate.

"The asking for an investigation is a crime?" Cogdell asked Maxwell.

"Following up with the investigation is a crime," Maxwell responded.

"What crime would it be to investigate the legality, if that’s a crime I’m going to be on death row, I investigate the legality of search warrants all the time, that’s what I do. What crime is it, Ranger, for them to ask them to investigate the legality of a search warrant," Maxwell said.

The trial will take a break for the weekend and pick back up on Monday, Sept. 11 at 9 a.m.