Editor's note: This story has been updated.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s trial on criminal securities fraud charges is set to begin May 1.
Jury selection will be held April 20-21 and April 27-28, according to a recent order by George Gallagher, the judge presiding over Paxton’s case. He also scheduled a hearing on pretrial motions for Feb. 16.
The trial will unfold in the heat of the legislative session, which began Tuesday and ends on May 29, and as campaigns get underway for the 2018 elections. Paxton plans to seek another term.
Paxton is accused of misleading investors in a company from before his time as Texas’ top law enforcement official. He has pleaded not guilty.
He is also fighting similar civil charges at the federal level. A judge threw out that case last year, but the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rebooted it by filing amended allegations two weeks later.
In the criminal case, Paxton faces three felony charges of breaking Texas securities law. If convicted, he could be sent to prison for five to 99 years.
Last year, Paxton exhausted his options in trying to put an end to the criminal case. The final blow came in October, when Texas’ highest criminal court declined to hear a Paxton appeal.
Paxton did not want to discuss the trial during a news conference later Thursday on human trafficking. Asked if Texans can expect to have a full-time attorney general this year, especially in May, he declined to answer.
"I would like to confine this to human trafficking questions if that's at all possible," Paxton said, adding that he is happy to answer questions about other topics at a later point in time.
- Last month, Paxton was zeroing in on state Rep. Byron Cook's credibility in a new push to discredit the latest federal civil fraud allegations against him.
- Use this timeline to to keep up with Paxton's legal and political drama.