In January 2021, social media users circulated a claim that a “Biden election official has been arrested for widespread election fraud in Texas,” along with what looked like a news release from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announcing an arrest connected with voter fraud:
This item had nothing to do with any Biden election official(s), however — that claim seemed to have been a repetition of unfounded allegations made in a court filing several months earlier.
The news release from Paxton (“San Antonio Election Fraudster Arrested for Widespread Vote Harvesting and Fraud”) was real, though, and issued on Jan. 13, 2021, to announce the arrest of a woman named Rachel Rodriguez for election fraud:
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced the arrest of Rachel Rodriguez for election fraud, illegal voting, unlawfully assisting people voting by mail, and unlawfully possessing an official ballot. Each charge constitutes a felony under the Texas Election Code.
San Antonio television station KABB reported that Rodriguez is being represented in the case by former Bexar County district attorney Nico LaHood.
Paxton gained national prominence in December 2020, when he filed a lawsuit suffused with false claims in an effort to overturn U.S. President Donald Trump’s loss to Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. The charges alleged in the arrest announced by Paxton in January 2021, even if proved true, would have no bearing on the outcome of that election.