Texas AG wanted White House to revoke COVID funds for Harris county

'We will never know whether these were legitimate ballots.'

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton reached out to the Trump administration earlier this year asking that it revoke millions of dollars in COVID-19 relief sent to the largest county in his state. 

In May, Paxton reportedly wrote a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, asking that they take back Harris County’s CARES Act funding because it was earmarked to expand mail-in voting in the 2020 presidential election. Paxton claimed use of federal money to improve access to the mail-in voting process during the coronavirus pandemic violated state law. 

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“We respectfully ask the department to scrutinize its award of CARES Act funding to Harris County in light of the county’s stated intent to use federal funding in violation of state law, and to the extent possible, seek return of any amounts improperly spent on efforts to promote illegal mail-in voting,” Paxton wrote in the letter. “Without implementing adequate protections against unlawful abuse of mail-in ballots, the Department could be cast in a position of involuntarily facilitating election fraud.”

Mnuchin was unmoved by Paxton’s letter, and Trump ended up losing Harris County by more than 200,000 votes. However, he won the state by 631,221 votes.

Like Trump and his supporters, Paxton continues to doubt that President-elect Joe Biden legitimately won the election. 

“I have real problems with it because we don’t know in many cases, especially these states that took longer to count their ballots, we will never know whether these were legitimate ballots,” Paxton said in a recent interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network.

Read More: Former Houston police captain arrested after tracking down man he thought masterminded voter fraud

The Houston Chronicle noted that more than 20,000 voters cast ballots in Harris County in the first hour polls opened on November 3rd.  

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo slammed Paxton for working against the interest of the people. 

“Taking emergency relief funds from the people of Harris County would have knocked the floor out of our citizens’ ability to vote safely during a pandemic and an important national election,” said Hidalgo, a Democrat. “This attempt to cut off emergency federal funding for fellow Texans is indefensible.”

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