Abbott names former Trump election lawyer as Texas secretary of state, will oversee election audit

Newly appointed lawyer John Scott briefly joined Trump campaign's legal challenge to 2020 election results in Pennsylvania
Governor of Texas Greg Abbott is seen in attendance during the UFC 265 event at Toyota Center on August 07, 2021 in Houston, Texas.
Gov. Greg Abbott
Getty Images

Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed former Trump lawyer John Scott as the state's secretary of state, a post in which he will oversee the state's review of the state's 2020 election results.

Scott, was briefly a member of the 2020 Trump campaign's legal challenge to the election results in Pennsylvania.

In this new post, Scott, a Fort Worth lawyer who worked for Abbott when he was the state's attorney general, will also oversee Texas elections as the state's new election safety law settles in ahead of the 2022 midterm.

The review of the 2020 results will be limited to Texas' four most populous counties.

"I am confident that John's experience and expertise will enhance his oversight and leadership over the biggest and most thorough election audit in the country," Abbott said Thursday in announcing Scott's appointment. 

Scott was among the attorneys who represented the Trump campaign when it filed suit to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election in Pennsylvania. Scott along with a second member of his firm withdrew from the legal challenge the day before a major hearing for the case, which was ultimately dismissed. 

Trump won Texas in 2020 by more than 5 points, and Republicans maintained majorities at the state level. Some supporters of Trump, however, believe he should have won the state by a wider margin and have called repeatedly for a "forensic audit" of the election. 

In September, Trump publicly shared a letter written to the Texas governor encouraging him to authorize an audit.

"Despite my big win in Texas, I hear Texans want an election audit! You know your fellow Texans have big questions about the November 2020 Election," the letter reads.

Abbott responded by saying that a "full and comprehensive forensic audit" had already begun in Dallas, Harris, Tarrant, and Collin counties. Audits that will be overseen by the state and not outside contractors as was the case in Arizona.