Ken Paxton Puts the Brakes on Federal Inquiry Into Debunked Voter Fraud Claims
A.G. tells Congress to wait in line
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's office is flipping the bureaucratic bird to a congressional committee seeking to investigate the state's bungled attempt to purge thousands of voters from the rolls. Last month, the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform launched an inquiry into Secretary of State David Whitley's now-debunked claim that nearly 100,000 registered voters may not be citizens. In response to the committee's request for documents and communications between the SoS and the A.G.'s office, the latter is arguing that Congress has no "oversight jurisdiction" over constitutional officers in Texas, and its request is not tantamount to a subpoena. Instead, the A.G. will handle the federal inquiry as a Texas Public Information Act request, conveniently granting the office wide power over what it shares or withholds. First Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Mateer wrote that because of "pending litigation and ongoing criminal investigations," the A.G.'s office believes the info the committee is requesting is exempt from required disclosure under Texas law.
While nonexistent in reality, the voter fraud narrative was played hard by Mateer in his defiant rebuke. "We appreciate the Committee's interest in the OAG's efforts to protect the sanctity of elections in Texas, to promote lawful voting, and to prosecute illegal voting," wrote Mateer. "Notwithstanding political rhetoric to the contrary, our office has real, first-person experience showing the threat to election integrity in Texas is real. ... We look forward to any assistance and cooperation the Committee can provide in this endeavor."