The FBI has subpoenaed Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general leading the long-shot lawsuit to overturn the 2020 election for Trump


Ken Paxton
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton testifies in front of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, just a few days before a grand jury indicts him on three felonies. Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images
  • The FBI has served subpoenas to the office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, according to local media reports.

  • The FBI launched an investigation into Paxton after former officials in his office alleged that he had abused his position to help a wealthy donor.

  • This week Paxton filed a lawsuit to the Supreme Court seeking to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election in four swing states, and President Donald Trump’s campaign filed a motion to join the suit.

  • Experts believe the lawsuit has little chance of success.

  • GOP Sen. Ben Sasse has also criticized the lawsuit, and suggested that Paxton filed it in exchange for a potential presidential pardon from Trump.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The FBI has served subpoenas to the office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton as part of its investigation into abuse of office and bribery allegations, local media reported. 

It is not clear exactly how many subpoenas were issued, or what information the agency is seeking to obtain with them, sources told KENS5.

The Austin American Statesman reported that federal agents visited the attorney general’s office on Wednesday to serve the subpoenas. 

Neither the FBI nor the Office of the Texas Attorney General immediately responded to Insider’s requests for comment.

In October, the FBI launched its investigation into Paxton after senior members of his staff told the agency that he may have violated bribery and abuse of office laws in his dealings with a wealthy donor, real-estate developer Nate Paul.

The former employees allege that Paxton abused his office in hiring an outside lawyer to investigate Paul’s claims that the FBI had improperly raided his home and office last year, according to the Associated Press. All of Paxton’s accusers have resigned, put on leave, or fired since reporting on Paxton, the AP said.

Paxton has denied any wrongdoing. 

‘The big one’

This week Paxton launched a long-shot bid to change the result of the presidential election in four battleground states, enlisting the support of 17 Republican attorneys general and President Donald Trump himself.

The aim of the lawsuit to get the Supreme Court to overturn the election results in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Georgia – four key states that Trump lost this year, saying that their votes were “tainted.”

trump thanksgiving
President Donald Trump the White House on November 26, 2020. Erin Schaff – Pool/Getty Images

But Paxton’s lawsuit did not provide evidence of specific instances of voter fraud, and the math doesn’t add up. Election experts say the lawsuit has little chance of success. 

The four states whose election results Paxton is challenging have also described the lawsuit as a “cacophony of bogus claims” in a letter requesting the Supreme Court reject the lawsuit. 

“This is the big one. Our Country needs a victory!” Trump tweeted of the lawsuit Wednesday.

‘A fella begging for a pardon’

Some have speculated that Paxton’s election lawsuit may be linked to his own FBI investigation, and that he may be seeking a pardon from Trump before the president leaves office in January. 

“He’s playing to the hometown crowd with that lawsuit,” Bill Miller, a GOP political consultant in Texas who talks with Paxton, told the AP.

Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska also told The Washington Examiner on Thursday that he believes the lawsuit has little chance of success. 

“I’m no lawyer, but I suspect the Supreme Court swats this away. From the brief, it looks like a fella begging for a pardon filed a PR stunt rather than a lawsuit – as all of the assertions have already been rejected by federal courts and Texas’ own solicitor general isn’t signing on,” he said. 

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