Texas Attorney General given four days to hand over Jan 6 texts

Ken Paxton will face a lawsuit if he doesn’t turn over his communications from Trump rally

Jade Bremner
Friday 14 January 2022 18:01
<p>Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks at a rally in support of President Donald Trump  on 6 January </p>

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks at a rally in support of President Donald Trump on 6 January

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been given four days to hand over his digital communications from 6 January or face a lawsuit, the Travis County district attorney has stated.

Mr Paxton spoke at the pro-Trump rally ahead of the US Capitol attack and aided Donald Trump in his efforts to overturn the result of the 2020 election.

Mr Paxton was hand-delivered a letter on Thursday from the Travis County District Attorney’s Office stating that it had received a complaint from the editors of the state's largest newspapers: the Austin American-Statesman, The Dallas Morning News, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News.

The complaint claimed that Mr Paxton had failed to comply with the Texas Public Information Act. The letter stated that complainants were told that his “documents were protected by the attorney-client privilege,” however they are subject to public release under the state's open records law.

Mr Paxton did not immediately respond to The Independent’s request for comment on Friday morning.

“After a thorough review of the complaint, the [district attorney’s] office has determined that Paxton and [his office] violated Chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code,” wrote Jackie Wood, director of the district attorney’s Public Integrity and Complex Crimes Unit in the letter.

The two-term Republican is campaigning for reelection this year but has fierce competition from three other Republicans, former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman, US Representative Louie Gohmert and Land Commissioner George P Bush.

Mr Paxton is awaiting trial for a six-year-old securities fraud charge, which has been hanging over him since he assumed office in 2015. He has maintained his innocence throughout and was narrowly reelected in 2018.

More than 60 people from Texas face Capitol riot charges.

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