Tuesday, February 27

Texas AG denies he ‘ran’ to avoid subpoenas, says he felt threatened

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) “ran” from his home and took off in a truck with his wife, a state senator, when a process server showed up to the residence Monday morning to serve Paxton with subpoenas in an ongoing lawsuit, according to an affidavit filed later that day.

The subpoenas for Paxton’s testimony are part of a lawsuit filed in August by reproductive health groups looking to protect their ability to help patients access legal abortions in states outside of Texas, where performing nearly all abortions became illegal following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade in June.

On Monday evening, Paxton addressed the process server’s claims, writing on Twitter that, earlier in the day, he had been avoiding a “stranger lingering outside my home” and was concerned for his and his family’s safety.

“This is a ridiculous waste of time and the media should be ashamed of themselves,” Paxton wrote in response to the Texas Tribune, which earlier reported the story. “All across the country, conservatives have faced threats to their safety — many threats that received scant coverage or condemnation from the mainstream media.”

Paxton’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Washington Post late Monday. A representative for Paxton’s wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton (R), also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Abortion is now banned in these states. See where laws have changed.

In the affidavit signed and filed on Monday, process server Ernesto Martin Herrera said that he arrived at Paxton’s residence in McKinney around 8:30 a.m., parking on the street in front of the house. Seeing the silhouette of a man in the living room, Herrera knocked on the front door, according to the affidavit.

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A woman answered it, Herrera said, and he explained that he needed to deliver legal documents to Paxton. The woman, who eventually identified herself as “Angela,” said that Paxton was on the phone and was in a “hurry to leave,” the affidavit states. Herrera added that he saw a black Chevrolet truck parked in the driveway. He could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday morning.

Herrera said he went back to his car and waited, “per my client’s instructions,” according to the affidavit. Around 9:20 a.m., he saw a different vehicle — a black Chevrolet Tahoe — drive up to the home and back into the driveway. About 20 minutes later, Herrera said he saw Paxton walk out of the garage, so he approached Paxton and called him by 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,” Herrera stated in the affidavit, emphasizing the word “ran” with bold type and an underline.

Less than 10 minutes later, “Angela” emerged from the house and opened one of the truck’s rear doors before getting into the driver’s seat and starting the vehicle, Herrera said in the affidavit. Paxton then ran from his home to the truck, as Herrera called out his name and said he had court documents for him, Herrera claimed.

“Mr. Paxton ignored me and kept heading for the truck,” Herrera stated.

Herrera said he told Paxton that he was going to put the documents on the ground, and then did so beside the truck.

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Paxton “got in the truck leaving the documents on the ground, and then both vehicles left,” Herrera wrote.

The subpoenas are seeking Paxton’s appearance and testimony at a court hearing scheduled for Tuesday morning. As of early Tuesday, the hearing remained on the court’s schedule.

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