Abbott tabs former Texas secretary of state as interim attorney general 

by Jacob Fuller

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday that he had appointed a seasoned attorney to serve as attorney general while Ken Paxton’s impeachment trial plays out.

Abbott announced John Scott, who previously served as Texas Secretary of State, would step in as Attorney General after Paxton was immediately suspended following the Texas House’s vote to impeach last Sunday.

“John Scott has the background and experience needed to step in as a short-term interim Attorney General during the time the Attorney General has been suspended from duty,” Abbott said in a press release.

His decades of experience and expertise in litigation will help guide him while serving as the state’s top law enforcement officer. I appoint John Scott for this role based on the Texas Constitution to serve for a temporary period during the Texas Senate’s resolution of the impeachment proceedings.

It is unclear how long Scott will be required to serve as there is not yet a fixed date for Paxton’s trial before the Texas Senate. By rule, the trial must begin no later than Aug. 28.

Paxton faces 20 articles of impeachment relating to allegations that he gave preferential treatment to one of his campaign donors, abused his power, and retaliated against whistleblowers.

On social media, Paxton has been relatively quiet about his forthcoming battle. Earlier in the week, he posted a thank you message to a group that rallied on his behalf at the Collin County Courthouse and a person who either created or commissioned the creation of a digital portrait depicting Paxton as a historic military leader.

Paxton has previously denied any wrongdoing and questioned the validity of the process by which he was impeached.

Scott, who resides in Fort Worth, has worked as an attorney for more than three decades and tried cases before the United States Supreme Court as well as lower federal and state courts.

Previously, when Abbott held the position of Texas Attorney General, Scott worked as the state’s  Deputy Attorney General for Civil Litigation.