Texas AG Ken Paxton flees home with wife to avoid subpoena concerning abortion case
On Tuesday, a Texas judge ruled that Paxton does not have to be in person for the hearings.
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On Tuesday, Sept. 27, Texas U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman ruled that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton does not have to physically appear at a hearing in relation to an abortion access lawsuit that involves Paxton. This comes after an affidavit revealed that Paxton allegedly ran away from subpoenas on two different occasions.
Paxton. who is currently on the campaign trail seeking his third term, is facing some legal troubles and in a statement on Twitter this past Monday night, adamantly denied the allegations of running away.
“It’s clear that the media wants to drum up another controversy involving my work as Attorney General, so they’re attacking me for having the audacity to avoid a stranger lingering outside my home and showing concern about the safety and well-being of my family,” Paxton said.
According to the affidavit, one subpoena was issued under his professional title while the other was issued personally to him. The subpoenas are in relation to an abortion access lawsuit filed this past August by an abortion provider along with several abortion funds.
They look to block Texas officials ability to bring to court abortion cases on conduct, but the legal actions occured before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the country’s half-century legal precedent that protected abortion rights nationwide.
“Agents of the state of Texas contend that virtually every activity of those who assist pregnant Texans to understand their rights and medical options is now subject to criminal prosecution,” the lawsuit reads
“The threats have been repeated and far-ranging, and the intimidation has chilled helping professionals from providing counseling, financial, logistical, and even informational assistance to pregnant Texans who may need to access abortion care outside of the state,” it continues.
On Monday, Sept. 26, Paxton’s office filed a motion to quash the subpoena on the grounds that it was not served effectively and that they were not proper.
According to Paxton’s motion obtained by CNN: “Top executive officials should not be called to testify absent extraordinary circumstances.” The attorney general also claims the “entire reason” he is named as a defendant is because he is a high-ranking government official.
According to the motion, Paxton was served the subpoenas at his home on Monday, but did not want to engage with the person delivering them. The server, Ernesto Martin Herrera, went to his home in the morning. He was met by his wife and that Paxton was on a phone call and hurried out of the house. Herrera left his card and said he would wait in his car until Paxton returned.
When Paxton returned an hour later and got out of his car in the garage, according to the motion:
“I walked up the driveway approaching Mr.Paxton and called him by his name — As soon as he saw me and heard me call his name out, he turned around and ran back inside the house through the same door in the garage,” said Herrera.
Paxton’s wife, State Senator Angela Paxton, went to start the truck and after several minutes, the Attorney General ran out the door and into the truck, actively avoiding Herrera who was yelling out his name that he had important legal documents to give him.
When he realized Paxton would not be taking the documents from Herrera personally, he yelled out and said he would leave the documents on the floor and left. Paxton responded on his Twitter to the motion’s details saying he was in trouble over trying to “avoid a stranger lingering outside my home.”