AUSTIN — In a bid to clear the air surrounding Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation as the next Supreme Court justice, the state’s top lawyers said Monday that he has not committed a crime and that the state cannot force him to testify in his defense.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he believes the state can only compel witnesses to provide a statement or other evidence that would “prove or disprove” Kavanaugh’s innocence, according to a news release.
“The Attorney General’s position on this matter is clear,” Paxton’s office said.
“He is in no way, shape or form asking for Mr. Kavanaugh to give a statement.
The Attorney General has no legal authority to compel testimony from anyone under oath.”
Paxton’s statement follows the release of the State Bar of Texas’ official position statement, which said that while Paxton is not required to testify, he believes that he can compel witnesses.
The statement also says that if Kavanaugh was accused of any crime, the Texas State Bar would provide him with a statement to prove or disproves the allegation.
The statement also states that he is not obligated to answer questions posed by the Texas attorney general.
A day after the statement, Paxton issued a statement saying the state attorney general’s office will take a look at the statement.
“I think it’s important to note that the attorney general of Texas is the chief law enforcement officer of the state of Texas and, if this were to happen in my state, he would not be able to compel him to do anything,” Paxtons statement said.