Prosecutor Won’t Charge Texas AG Paxton Over Jan. 6 Records

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FILE – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton addresses the media on January 27, 2022 in Weslaco, Texas. On Friday, July 1, 2022, prosecutors said they will not proceed with a lawsuit against Paxton for his refusal to release his statements regarding his appearance at a pro-Donald Trump rally that preceded the deadly riots in the United States. US Capitol in 2021 (Joel Martinez/The Monitor via AP, File)

AP

A prosecutor said Friday it would not proceed with a lawsuit against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for his refusal to release his statements regarding his appearance at a pro-Donald Trump rally preceding the deadly riots in the US Capitol last year. †

The Travis County District Attorney’s office, based in Austin, said in a letter it would not prosecute because journalists who asked for Paxton’s records refused to testify in court because they may have denied their sources, The Dallas Morning. News and the Houston, should reveal. Chronicle reported.

The district attorney’s office told Paxton in January that he had violated the state’s public registry laws and that he must resolve the matter or file a lawsuit. Paxton’s office denied any violation and dismissed the claim.

Maria Reeve, editor-in-chief of the Houston Chronicle, said: “We were encouraged that the district attorney agreed that Paxton’s office was breaking the law. We hoped those facts would be enough to allow a lawsuit to proceed — and that our reporters wouldn’t have to testify.”

The district attorney’s office launched an investigation after editors of Texas’ largest newspapers filed a complaint.

Paxton appeared at a January 6, 2021 event in Washington, DC, where he delivered a speech touting his failed legal push to reverse Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election.

Paxton, a Republican, faces multiple legal challenges this year if he runs for reelection. In addition to active charges of state securities fraud, the FBI is investigating him on separate corruption charges and the Texas Bar Association is seeking to punish him for his efforts to nullify the 2020 presidential election based on false claims of fraud.

In May, Paxton defeated Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush in a Republican runoff election. That win sets him up for a general election contest with Rochelle Garza, a South Texas Democrat and civil rights attorney.

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