Gov. Greg Abbott connected Wednesday picked a longtime state who oversaw Texas' elections successful 2022 to temporarily service arsenic lawyer wide pursuing Republican Ken Paxton's historical impeachment connected allegations of misconduct and crimes.
John Scott, who stepped down arsenic Texas Secretary of State past year, takes implicit arsenic the state's apical lawyer connected an interim ground portion Paxton awaits a proceedings successful the authorities Senate that could effect successful his imperishable removal. The proceedings is acceptable to statesman nary aboriginal than Aug. 28.
Paxton was impeached past play by the Texas House of Representatives, triggering his contiguous suspension from office.
Abbott has kept soundless astir Paxton successful the week since House Republicans began impeachment proceedings. The politician announced Scott's assignment successful a connection that did not notation Paxton oregon remark connected the accusations against him.
"John Scott has the inheritance and acquisition needed to measurement successful arsenic a short-term interim Attorney General during the clip the Attorney General has been suspended from duty," Abbott said.
Scott has been a trusted manus of Abbott's for much than a decade. He served arsenic a authorities litigator erstwhile Abbott was lawyer general, and erstwhile Abbott's prime for caput of authorities successful 2019 was derailed aft a bungled reappraisal of elector rolls, the politician turned to Scott instead.
Texas Secretary of State John B. Scott is shown connected Feb. 10, 2022, successful Austin, Texas. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott connected May 31, 2023, appointed Scott to temporarily service arsenic Texas lawyer wide aft the House of Representatives voted to impeach Ken Paxton. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
At the time, the assignment alarmed voting rights groups implicit Scott's little stint arsenic a subordinate of President Donald Trump’s ineligible squad that challenged the 2020 predetermination results. Scott withdrew from the lawsuit aft lone a fewer days and has said helium does not quality that President Joe Biden won the election.
Paxton weathered years of ungraded and maintained his party’s enactment to triumph 3 statewide lawyer general’s races earlier the ballot successful the Republican-controlled House abruptly swept him from power.
The ballot came aft a monthslong House probe into the lawyer wide that resulted successful 20 charges alleging sweeping abuses of power, including obstruction of justice, bribery and maltreatment of nationalist trust.
Paxton has criticized the impeachment arsenic an effort to "overthrow the volition of the radical and disenfranchise the voters of our state." He has said the charges are based connected "hearsay and gossip, parroting long-disproven claims."
Texas' senators volition service arsenic "jurors" successful Paxton's upcoming proceedings — 1 of whom could beryllium his wife, authorities Sen. Angela Paxton, who has not said whether she volition enactment successful the proceedings.
During his yearlong stint arsenic Texas' predetermination chief, Scott was tasked with trying to springiness voters assurance astir predetermination results and the quality to formed a ballot aft Republicans passed a sweeping caller voting law. Those efforts got disconnected to a bumpy commencement during Texas’ first-in-the-nation superior arsenic voters struggled to navigate caller message voting requirements, resulting successful counties throwing retired astir 23,000 message ballots.