News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Report: Paxton Election Lawsuit Originally Drafted By Lawyers Linked To Trump Campaign

portrait of Ken Paxton at 2017 press conference
Tony Gutierrez
Associated Press

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s failed lawsuit seeking to throw out election results in other states came originally from lawyers close to the campaign of former President Donald Trump, according to a report in theNew York Times.

The Times reports lawyers allied with Trump drafted the lawsuit but needed a state attorney general to officially bring it because only a state attorney general can sue another state and have the case go straight to the United States Supreme Court.

Paxton was a co-chair of the re-election group Lawyers for Trump and did not sign a letter condemning the Jan. 6th violence at the capitol. Paxton addressed the crowd at a pro-Trump rally in Washington earlier that day.

“We will not quit fighting,” he said.

The Trump allies tried to get other chief lawyers to take the lead on the lawsuit, including Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, because Paxton had been tainted by recent corruption allegations. Landry declined, and Paxton took it up, despite protests from lawyers on his staff.

The Texas Solicitor General Kyle Hawkins reportedly wouldn’t let his name be used on the suit. Hawkins announced in mid-January plans to resign from the state Attorney General’s office. In a Jan. 13 news release, Paxton's office said Hawkins’ last day would be Feb. 1.

Paxton declined to comment to the Times, and his office didn’t reply to an email from KERA News seeking comment.

Bret Jaspers is a reporter for KERA. His stories have aired nationally on the BBC, NPR’s newsmagazines, and APM’s Marketplace. He collaborated on the series Cash Flows, which won a 2020 Sigma Delta Chi award for Radio Investigative Reporting. He's a member of Actors' Equity, the professional stage actors union.