To avoid being served with a subpoena, in what can only be described as a scene from a movie, Texas attorney general Ken Paxton fled his home in a truck driven by his wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton on Monday.
Texas's chief law enforcement officer went to great lengths to avoid being forced to testify in court, according to an affidavit filed in federal court by the process server, Ernesto Herrera.
A subpoena was being served on the state's top attorney requiring him to attend a federal court hearing in a case brought by nonprofits that assist Texans seeking abortions outside the state, the Texas Tribune reports.
Herrera said that he spotted Paxton and Angela through the windows of their house as he approached it on Monday morning. Paxton's wife answered the door and Herrera saw Paxton enter the room behind her. However, once he saw Herrera, he turned and left the room. Herrera explained to Angela that he was there to deliver legal documents to Paxton; Angela said her husband was on the phone.
Herrera told her he would wait until Paxton finished.
Things became strange after that.
Within an hour, a black Chevrolet Tahoe pulled into the driveway — the driver didn't get out — followed 20 minutes later by Ken Paxton's leaving his home.
"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," Herrera wrote.
After leaving the house, Angela Paxton hopped into her Chevrolet truck, started it, and opened the doors, Herrera said in the document.
"A few minutes later I saw Mr. Paxton RAN from the door inside the garage towards the rear door behind the driver side," Herrera wrote. "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."
Upon placing the subpoenas on the ground next to the truck, Herrera informed Ken Paxton that he was serving him. Both cars drove away without retrieving the documents.
After his cloak-and-dagger escape, Paxton, who has had no problem sending investigators into the homes of families with transgender kids who receive gender-affirming care, took to Twitter to claim he was frightened for his family's safety. Paxton has previously called members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies "predators."
"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 tweeted.
Harvard Law School Cyberlaw clinical instructor Alejandra Caraballo put a fine point on Paxton's explanation.
"Imagine being this much of a piss baby running away from a process server after helping to persecute the families of trans kids and threatening to tear apart their families," Caraballo tweeted.
On Tuesday morning, a judge granted several motions in Paxton's favor, including one to seal the subpoenas and affidavit to protect Paxton's private information and one to quash the subpoena altogether, thereby making it moot and unenforceable. The documents remain available on the Free Law Project's CourtListener site.
According to the Texas Tribune, Paxton has been under indictment for securities fraud for seven years and is facing a whistleblower lawsuit.
He has denied all allegations.
Paxton will face Democrat Rochelle Garza in the November election.