Texas attorney general Ken Paxton mocked for fleeing subpoena in truck driven by his wife: ‘Run, Ken, run!’

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Ken Paxton, the Republican Texas state attorney general, fled a subpoena in a vehicle alongside his wife, state Senator Angela Paxton.

Mr Paxton was being given a subpoena at his home on Monday in connection to a court hearing set for Tuesday linked to a lawsuit by nonprofits attempting to fund abortions outside of the state for Texas residents.

A federal court affidavit states that process server Ernesto Martin Herrera came to the home to hand over the documents when he was met by Ms Paxton, according to The Texas Tribune.

Mr Herrera recounted that Ms Paxton told him that her husband was on the phone and couldn’t come to the door, to which the process server said he would wait.

A black Chevrolet Tahoe arrived in the driveway of the home in McKinney, north of Dallas, about an hour later. Twenty minutes after the arrival of the vehicle, Mr Paxton left the residence.

In a sworn affidavit, Mr Herrera said that “I walked up the driveway approaching Mr Paxton and called him by his 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”.

Ms Paxton then came outside, entered a Chevrolet truck in the driveway, started the engine, and opened the doors of the vehicle.

“A few minutes later I saw Mr Paxton RAN from the door inside the garage towards the rear door behind the driver side,” Mr Herrera wrote in the affidavit. “I approached the truck, and loudly called him by his name and stated that I had court documents for him. Mr Paxton ignored me and kept heading for the truck.”

Mr Herrera then put the documents on the ground close to the vehicle and said he was serving Mr Paxton with subpoena. Both of the cars then drove off, with the legal files being left on the ground.

Mr Paxton responded to the incident on Twitter, slamming the media.

“This is a ridiculous waste of time and the media should be ashamed of themselves. All across the country, conservatives have faced threats to their safety — many threats that received scant coverage or condemnation from the mainstream media,” he said.

“It’s clear that the media wants to drum up another controversy involving my work as Attorney General, so they’re attacking me for having the audacity to avoid a stranger lingering outside my home and showing concern about the safety and well-being of my family,” he added.

The state attorney general has been under indictment for securities fraud for the last seven years, according to The Tribune. He’s also the subject of a whistleblower lawsuit from former colleagues who argue that he has abused his office. Mr Paxton has rejected that he did anything wrong.

After being pushed into a runoff, Mr Paxton was able to retain the nomination for another term and in November, he goes up against Democrat Rochelle Garza.

The report detailing Mr Paxon’s flight from a subpoena prompted widespread mockery online.

“Run, Ken, run!” Ms Garza tweeted. “Ken Paxton is a coward. He is running away from his felony indictments, his FBI investigation and now, nonprofits. And his wife is driving the getaway car. My name is Rochelle Garza and I’m running to uphold the rule of law –– not run away from it.”

“You were so afraid of the ‘stranger’ you sent your wife out to get the car?” Jennifer Hayden of the Daily Kos tweeted at Mr Paxton.

“He was afraid for his safety so he had his wife deal with it. I love him,” journalist Christopher Hooks wrote.

History professor Aaron Astor tweeted that “one of the most loathsome people to serve as state AG is a fugitive from justice”.

“Think of the fear that Texas women - facing agonizing, deeply personal decisions - often have to make when they are pregnant. And then the Texas Attorney General flees like a coward from a subpoena,” Paul Brundus added.

Attorney Seth Abramson wrote that Mr Paxton is “one of the great villains of the Trump era, yet still insufficiently infamous in my view”.

Fund Texas Choice, which describes itself as “a non-profit organization funding abortion travel for people in Texas” wrote on the social media platform late on Monday that “when our attorneys tried to serve Ken Paxton before our hearing tomorrow, he and his wife FLED. While we fight for Texans’ right to abortion care, Ken Paxton is LITERALLY running away”.