Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, has been ordered to release documents and communications regarding his attendance at last year’s rally that preceded the storming from the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza’s office in a letter Thursday gave Paxton four days to turn over the information and informed him that he violated state public records law. If he doesn’t comply with the order, Garza will file a lawsuit against Paxton and the attorney general’s office, the letter warns.
The prosecutor’s office took action after editors of the state’s five largest newspapers complained that Paxton was unlawfully withholding information.
Under Texas Public Information Law, the public has the right to access government records, even if they are kept on personal devices, such as a cell phone, or in online accounts. ‘an official. Paxton is supposed to be the one responsible for making certain officials comply with the Open Records Act.
Paxton’s office blocked disclosure of all emails and text messages sent on January 6, 2021 and the days before and after the insurgency, citing solicitor-client privilege, apparently relating to various investigations against Paxton.
The U.S. House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot is also seeking Paxton’s communications with the Trump administration regarding the January 6 events.
Paxton was a leading proponent of the baseless claim of a rigged presidential election against Trump, and he joined a failed lawsuit to block the legitimate election of President Joe Biden.
Paxton and his wife, Republican Senator Angela McKinney, both attended the Jan. 6 rally where Trump told his supporters to march on Capitol Hill and “fight like hell.” Paxton delivered a speech at the rally, urging Trump supporters to “never stop fighting.”
This isn’t the first time Paxton has had trouble in office. He is also under federal investigation for allegedly abusing his office to help a campaign donor. The whistleblowers in this case are suing Paxton for their subsequent termination from their state jobs. Paxton is also facing a criminal indictment for securities fraud.
The two-term attorney general is seen as so politically vulnerable that three powerful Republican candidates — State Lands Commissioner George P. Bush (son of Jeb Bush), former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman and U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert – are running against him in the primary.
Trump has already endorsed Paxton.
Paxton has yet to respond to the order from the district attorney’s office.
The newspapers represented in the complaint are in Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Fort Worth.
The full letter to Paxton can be viewed here.
The Huffington Gt