Why Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton should be deposed in whistleblower lawsuit

On Tuesday, the Texas Supreme Court halted a planned deposition of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in the ongoing case against him by whistleblowers who claim he violated the Texas Whistleblower Act when he fired them.

In 2020, eight of Paxton’s top deputies reported him to the FBI for abusing his office, accepting bribes and tampering with government documents to favor a political donor. Paxton responded by firing them.

In January, a district court ordered Paxton deposed, but the Texas Supreme Court appeared to bow to pressure from President Donald Trump by at least temporarily pausing that order. The Texas Supreme Court will now consider the full merits of whether Paxton should have to testify under oath.

Paxton has denied wrongdoing, but has also repeatedly tried to get out of testifying under oath. Earlier this month, he announced that he would not contest the facts of the case and therefore did not need to testify.

Jennifer Gibson, TSN’s Legal Director, commenting on the case: “Ken Paxton has repeatedly denied the allegations. If that’s true, then why all the gymnastics to avoid testifying under oath? The whistleblowers at the heart of this case risked everything to blow the whistle. They deserve no less than the truth and that truth will only come from Paxton being deposed, under oath.”

“Officials need to be held accountable. And those who bravely speak out to hold power to account need to know they will be protected. The public deserves the truth. Democracy demands nothing less.”

About TSN

TSN is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to supporting whistleblowers who risk their livelihoods to share public interest information with the press. Founded in 2017 by journalists, whistleblowers and lawyers, TSN operates internationally to hold powerful interests accountable. TSN provides customized support to a selected group of whistleblowers who have contributed to published reports of significant wrongdoing. This support may include legal, psychological, physical safety, temporary safe-housing, online safety, career support and communication support.

For journalist inquiries, email sarah@thesignalsnetwork.org.