Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Refuses to Hand Over Jan. 6 Records

Paxton faces several GOP challengers in his reelection bid this year

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks in Washington, at a rally in support of President Donald Trump. The Supreme Court, though increasingly conservative in makeup, rejected the latest major Republican-led effort to kill the national health care law known as "Obamacare" on Thursday, preserving insurance coverage for millions of Americans. Paxton pledged to continue the fight against "Obamacare," which he called a "massive government takeover of health care."
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has rejected a prosecutor’s demand for records of his appearance at a pro-Donald Trump rally that preceded the assault on the U.S. Capitol.

Last week, the Travis County district attorney’s office had set a four-day deadline for Paxton to turn over the records involving the Jan. 6, 2021, rally or face a lawsuit accusing him of violating the state open records law. But in a letter to the district attorney's office Friday, the attorney general’s office denied any violations and rejected the office’s demands.

The Texas Tribune was the first to report about Paxton's refusal. A message to the district attorney's office seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned.

Paxton and his wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton, appeared at the event in Washington, D.C., where the attorney general gave a speech touting his failed legal push to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election.

One year has passed since supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol during the certification of Electoral College votes. NBCLX Political Editor Noah Pransky brings you a timeline of the day and the aftermath.

Several news organizationshave requested Paxton’s communications from around that time under the Texas Public Information Act. Last March, six news outlets jointly published a story raising questions about whether Paxton was breaking open records laws.

Earlier this month, top editors at five Texas newspapers — the Austin American-Statesman, The Dallas Morning News, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News — filed a complaint asking the district attorney to investigate the alleged violations.

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Paxton faces several GOP challengers in his reelection bid this year.

In 2020, eight of Paxton’s top deputies accused him of bribery, abuse of office and other crimes in the service of another supporter, an Austin real estate developer who employs a woman with whom the attorney general allegedly had an extra-marital affair. The FBI is investigating those allegations.

The attorney general has also spent most of his time in office under a separate felony indictment. He pleaded not guilty in 2015 to three state securities fraud charges but is yet to face trial.

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