Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton defended himself against reports that he fled his home to avoid being subpoenaed in a case about abortion rights on Monday, claiming that his response was out of concern for his family's safety.
The Texas Tribune obtained court documents claiming Paxton avoided interaction with a process server on Monday morning, who presented a subpoena regarding a lawsuit about nonprofits potentially paying for out-of-state abortions for Texans.
Paxton was ordered to attend the court hearing, which is part of a lawsuit launched by nonprofits in the wake of Texas strengthening anti-abortion laws amid the overturn of Roe v. Wade.
In a response posted to Twitter on Monday night, Paxton called the article "a complete waste of time" and said the media "should be ashamed". He cited violence against conservatives for the reason for his reaction.
"All across the country, conservatives have faced threats to their safety – many threats that received scant coverage or condemnation from the mainstream media," the attorney general claimed.
Paxton maintained that he thought the process server was a stranger "lingering" outside his house and was concerned for his family's well-being. The attorney general also argued that the article was an orchestrated attempt to "drum up" controversy about him.
"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 said.
According to the Texas Tribune report, the process server told Paxton's wife, State Senator Angela Paxton, that he was serving the documents after ringing their doorbell. She said her husband was on the phone and unable to come to the door.
More than an hour later, Paxton left his house and narrowly avoided interaction with the process server, who was still attempting to speak with him. Angela Paxton reportedly followed, and the couple left in the same vehicle.
The process server, Ernesto Martin Herrera, maintains that he clearly said he had court documents for Paxton, and claims Paxton ran to a truck and ignored him.
"A few minutes later I saw Mr. Paxton RAN from the door inside the garage towards the rear door behind the driver side," Herrera described.
Herrera then informed Paxton he was serving a subpoena and left the documents on the ground – which the Paxtons allegedly drove away from.
The court hearing that Paxton was subpoenaed for will take place Tuesday in Austin.