Texas AG Ken Paxton hit with Jan. 6 legal complaint amid reelection bid
State Attorney General Ken Paxton was officially given notice on Thursday of a new legal complaint against his office related to unreleased communications related to the events of Jan. 6, 2021.
The complaint alleges Paxton violated Texas' open records law by failing to turn over personal texts and emails around the time of pro-Trump rally that preceded a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
The Texas Public Information Act guarantees the public’s right to government records, including those on officials’ personal devices or online accounts.
The attorney general’s office – which is tasked with enforcing this state law – said in the past that the “communications of government officials were subject to retention policies and the open records law” yet has “no policy for handling work-related records kept on personal devices or accounts” for those within its own office.
This is just the latest of multiple legal issues Paxton and his supporters must grapple with as he runs for reelection amid a crowded field of GOP and Democratic
challengers. The AG’s other troubles include three state criminal indictments and a pending FBI bribery investigation. He has denied any wrongdoing.
Will Paxton publicly release these and other communications, as required by state law, to “cure this violation”? What will happen if he doesn’t?
Do Paxton’s mounting legal problems make him a liability for the Republican Party? Could they affect the outcome of the Texas Attorney General’s race?
- Allie Morris, Austin Bureau correspondent for the Dallas Morning News
- Jay Root, investigative reporter for the Houston Chronicle
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*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, January 18.