Former Trump lawyer to oversee Texas election review

HOUSTON – Amid pressure from former President Donald J. Trump to support a broad review of the 2020 Texas election, Governor Greg Abbott...

HOUSTON – Amid pressure from former President Donald J. Trump to support a broad review of the 2020 Texas election, Governor Greg Abbott on Thursday appointed a lawyer as Secretary of State who briefly joined the challenge of Mr. Trump to the 2020 results in Pennsylvania.

New Secretary of State John Scott will oversee the Texas election at a time when new law imposing new voting restrictions and a Republican redistribution plan have alarmed franchise advocates that the growing non-white population of the ‘State would not be fairly represented.

More immediately, Mr Scott, a Fort Worth lawyer who worked for Mr Abbott when he was state attorney general, will take on a limited review of the 2020 election results as Mr Abbott, a Republican, ordered last month for four of Texas’ most populous counties.

“I am confident that John’s experience and expertise will enhance his oversight and leadership on the nation’s largest and most in-depth election audit,” Abbott said in a statement announcing his appointment.

Although he may need to be confirmed by the State Senate, Mr. Scott may fill this role on an interim basis. The Senate will not sit again in ordinary session until 2023.

The nomination drew immediate criticism from Democrats and voting groups. “The timing of this announcement is clearly intended to reverse our democratic process in a way that allows Greg Abbott’s grossly misfit candidate to oversee our 2022 election without facing confirmation hearings,” said Stephanie Gómez , Texas associate director for Common Cause.

Mr. Scott was among the lawyers representing Mr. Trump’s campaign as he filed a lawsuit to challenge the November 2020 election results in Pennsylvania, a state President Biden won by 80,555 votes.

But Mr Scott withdrew from the case, as did another member of his law firm, Bryan Hughes, on the eve of a hearing, after a decision of the circuit court which effectively emptied their arguments. The case was ultimately dismissed.

“The lesson from the Pennsylvania case is that John Scott is a guy you can trust to uphold the law,” said Mr. Hughes, a Republican senator from Tyler, Texas. He added that while in the attorney general’s office, Mr. Scott represented Texas in litigation regarding the state’s voter identification law, “that area of ​​law does it is therefore no stranger to it “.

Mr Hughes was the main sponsor of Texas’ restrictive new electoral rules, which were passed this year despite concerted opposition from Democrats. The new rules expand the authority of the Secretary of State in elections.

No credible evidence has emerged of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election in Texas or any other state. Mr Trump won the state by more than 5 percentage points and Republicans maintained the lockdown on state house despite a well-funded effort by Democrats to try to overthrow control.

Yet with supporters of Mr. Trump believing he should have won the state by an even greater margin, Mr. Abbott has faced growing calls for legislation to allow a “forensic audit” of the government. 2020 presidential vote in Texas. Last month, Mr. Trump wrote a letter to Mr. Abbott urging him to support the legislation.

“Despite my big victory in Texas, I heard that the Texans wanted an election audit! You know your fellow Texans have big questions about the November 2020 election, ”the letter read, steeped in obscure legislative language from Texas and signed by the former president.

State political agents suspected the former president had received help in his foray into Austin politics by Texas conservatives, possibly Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presided over twice Mr. Trump’s campaign in the state. Under the leadership of Mr. Patrick, the Senate has already adopted a bill on the revision of the 2020 elections.

Hours after Mr. Trump made public his September 23 letter to Mr. Abbott, the governor appeared to respond. The Secretary of State’s office issued a brief statement indicating that a “full and comprehensive forensic audit” had already begun in Dallas, Harris, Tarrant and Collin counties. The first two have become staunchly Democrats. The latter two have moved away from the Republicans.

The office stressed that the state would oversee the review and that no outside contractors would be hired, as happened in the recent review in Arizona. This circus effort reaffirmed President Biden’s victory in the state.

At the time, Texas did not have a Secretary of State, after the previous person appointed by Mr. Abbott, Ruth Ruggero Hughs, resigned in May due to a lack of action on its confirmation by the Senate.

The announcement of Mr Scott’s appointment came a day after Mr Patrick posted a statement on Twitter urging Mr Abbott to call lawmakers back to the capital for a fourth special session. “House must pass a bill on forensic election verification,” Patrick wrote.

Mr. Patrick’s office did not respond to a request for comment. Mr. Scott did not return any email or text requesting comment.

In addition to overseeing the elections, the Secretary of State is the Texas governor’s liaison for cross-border affairs with Mexico.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Former Trump lawyer to oversee Texas election review
Former Trump lawyer to oversee Texas election review
Newsrust - US Top News
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