Texas Dems Launch Throwback Thursday Series (First Up: That Time Ken Paxton Refused to Release Insurrection Rally Messages)

AUSTIN, Texas — Today, Texas Democrats are launching our new Throwback Thursday series, a trip down memory lane to the most egregious moments in the disgraceful tenure of failed Governor Greg Abbott, indicted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, and statewide embarrassment Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. As the three Texas Republicans have shown both a chronic failure to lead and a penchant for throwing Texans under the bus, Democrats are confident they will find enough material to fuel the series until Abbott, Paxton, and Patrick are ousted from office in 2022.

This week’s theme hearkens back to just over a week ago when indicted Texas AG Ken Paxton refused to release emails and texts associated with his participation in the January 6 Trump rally in D.C., where Trump Republicans incited the insurrection at the Capitol later that day. The Attorney General’s office is continuing to withhold the messages, despite the fact that the Texas Public Information Act guarantees the public’s right to view government records — including when those records are stored on personal devices or online accounts of public officials. Texas Democrats commend the coalition of Texas news organizations that are working together to obtain the documents and review Paxton’s public-records practices.

While Paxton’s hapless careening from PR crisis to PR crisis may be comical, the effects of his actions are no joke. Paxton has consistently sold Texans out in favor of wealthy donors, and has shown a pattern of putting political gain and personal relationships over his duty to uphold the law. By encouraging January’s insurrection, Paxton put Americans and our democracy in danger. Under Texas law, Texans have a right to see these records and hear exactly what role their Attorney General played in these events.

Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:

“If Ken Paxton has nothing to hide, he should release his texts and come clean about exactly what he was up to in D.C. when he took part in Trump’s pre-insurrection rally. What is our disgraced Attorney General afraid of? What could Paxton possibly have said that is damning enough to go to such lengths to cover it up? Given Paxton’s participation in the rally that incited an attempted coup on our democracy, Texans deserve answers.

“As Attorney General, it is Ken Paxton’s job to enforce our state’s open records laws, and make sure Texans can get all the information that they have a right to access. Instead, Paxton’s office has no policy on the work-related messages stored on Paxton’s personal devices. This is a cover-up, in line with Paxton’s history of skirting the law and dodging accountability. Texans deserve better.”