Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday appointed. Former Secretary of State John Scott to serve as interim attorney general. after the state House impeached Ken Paxton.
“John Scott has the background.
And experience to serve as a short-term interim attorney general. When the attorney general is removed from office.” Abbott said in a statement Wednesday. “His decades of experience and litigation. skills will help guide him as he serves as the state’s top law enforcement officer.”
Abbott, a Republican, made the interim appointment. After the state’s GOP-controlled House voted 121-23. To impeach Paxton — with 60 of its 85 Republican members. Including Speaker Ded Phelan, supporting his impeachment. over allegations of bribery and abuse of office. .
Paxton has been under FBI investigation for years. For allegedly abusing his office to help a donor. He is awaiting trial on a charge of state securities fraud from 2015.
Paxton, who has denied any wrongdoing, called. The impeachment process a “motivated fraud” in a statement Saturday.
The House has delivered articles of impeachment to the state Senate.
Which will hold a trial to decide whether Paxton should be removed from office. The trial is expected to begin after Aug. 28 with a jury that could include his wife, Sen. Angela Paxton.
Abbott — who did not mention Paxton by name in the statement appointing Scott or comment. On the impeachment — spoke of Scott’s record as an attorney. Saying he has “handled cases at all levels of the justice system.” Scott, whom Abbot appointed secretary. State, due in late 2021, stepped down last year after overseeing. The 2022 midterm elections as top election official.
And presiding over an audit of the state’s 2020 election results.
Scott before served as deputy attorney general for civil litigation while. Abbott was attorney general. Scott was once appointed chief operating officer of. The state Health and Human Services Commission.
Paxton, a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump. Who was first elected attorney general in 2014. Led an unsuccessful legal effort to overturn President. Joe Biden’s 2020 victories in four battleground states. She supported Trump when Trump reopened his White House Election bid last year.
Trump defended Paxton over the weekend on his social media website. Truth Social, suggesting the process was a form. Of election interference and a “very unfair process.”