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DALLAS (AP) — Texas’ attorney general has asked an appeals court to throw out criminal charges against him at a Dallas hearing just blocks from the state Republican convention.

Attorney General Ken Paxton returned to court Thursday on felony charges of defrauding investors. The alleged fraud happened before Paxton was elected in 2014.

His lawyers say the fact that former Texas Gov. Rick Perry recently had his criminal charges dismissed before trial is helping their efforts to also prevent Paxton’s case from going to a jury.

Supporters surrounded Paxton inside the state Fifth Court of Appeals. They included Republican delegates in town for the party convention, where Paxton will speak Saturday after former presidential candidate Ted Cruz.

Paxton has pleaded not guilty and released a defiant video Wednesday reiterating he’s “not going anywhere.”

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