Maddow destroys Texas AG Ken Paxton for suspicious prosecution of Black man before his CPAC speech
MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow.

Rachel Maddow on Friday discussed the prosecution of Hervis Rogers by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Rogers made national news in 2020 after standing in line for eight hours to vote in the Texas primary on Super Tuesday.

The MSNBC host noted suspicious details in the prosecution as Rogers is held in jail on $100,000 bond.

"What? Because he might escape and vote again?" Maddow wondered.

"Also, I should tell you this. Hervis Rogers lives in Harris County — the big diverse county that includes Houston that I just told you about. Hervis Rogers lives in Harris County, he voted in Harris County, but the Texas attorney general has chosen to file these charges against him in neighboring Montgomery County," she explained.

"We asked the attorney general's office why they filed these charges in that other county. They told us, essentially, 'because we can.' They said the law allows them to file the charges in any county that abuts Harris County, if they want to. They wouldn't tell us why they picked Montgomery County to press these charges specifically," she continued.

"I can tell you though that according to the most recent U.S. Census data, of the eight possible counties that abut Harris County, of the eight possible counties they could legally have charged Hervis Rogers, of the eight which they have the option of drawing a jury pool if this case goes to trial, Montgomery County is just about the whitest. It has the lowest proportion of African American residents of any of those counties," she reported.

"I mean, I can't tell you for certain that is relevant there, but I can tell you that it's true," she noted. "The attorney general's office, we went back to them again, they will not tell us why they chose this county."

Maddow was also suspicious of the timing of the prosecution as the Texas legislature debates voter suppression bills only days before Paxton is scheduled to take the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

"The alleged illegal voting Hervis Rogers is accused of took place a year and a half ago. It's not like he was hiding, like I said, he was a national media figure for a hot minute because he had to cast his vote after that six-plus-hour wait before heading off to his other job," Maddow said. "But apparently this is the moment to arrest him, to lock him up on $100,000 bail and to bring charges against him that could put him in jail for decades. This is the moment, for some reason, now, had to happen today. As Republican legislators gather in the Texas state capitol to make it harder for Texans who look like Hervis Rogers to vote."

"And just in time for Ken Paxton to give his big headliner speech at CPAC this weekend in Dallas, before Donald Trump takes the stage there," she noted.

"I should also tell you Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton himself is under indictment on securities fraud charges in the state of Texas, has been for years. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is currently under FBI investigation for abusing his office to allegedly benefit a wealthy campaign donor, an elaborate scheme so egregious and over the top seven of Paxton's top deputies in the attorney general's office reported him to law enforcement authorities," she noted. "Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is currently under investigation by the Texas State Bar to determine whether his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election based on bogus fraud claims amount to professional misconduct that should result in him loosing his law license."

"Yah, you know, forge your dead parents' signature in order to vote for Trump, slap on the wrist, maybe. Try to overturn a whole democratically decided election? You get to be attorney general of Texas, even if you are already under indictment. But wait in line for over six hours to cast a vote a few weeks before your parole is up, you get locked up with bail you cannot possibly pay, charged in a county that seems designed to ensure an all-white jury for you, threatened with decades in prison," Maddow concluded.

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