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Greg Abbott’s pick for Texas' top election official signed up to help Trump fight the 2020 results 

click to enlarge Gov. Greg Abbott (left) shakes hands with former President Donald Trump during a border photo op in late June. - INSTAGRAM / @GOVERNORABBOTT
  • Instagram / @governorabbott
  • Gov. Greg Abbott (left) shakes hands with former President Donald Trump during a border photo op in late June.
Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed John Scott, a lawyer who represented former President Donald Trump in one of his challenges to the 2020 election results, as the state's top elections official, the Texas Tribune reports.

In the position of Texas Secretary of State, the Fort Worth-based attorney would oversee elections at a time when Republican lawmakers have parroted Trump's baseless claims of widespread election fraud and used it to justify restrictive new voting laws such as the one Texas adopted this year.

The nomination also comes less than a month after Texas initiated a so-called "audit" of the 2020 results in four of the state's most-populous counties at Trump's behest. Although Texas elections officials have not released financial details of the probe, similar ones in other states have racked up millions in taxpayer expenses.

Scott was unavailable for comment when the Tribune reached out to him.

Last November, Scott was named as counsel to a lawsuit Trump filed in a bid to block the certification of Pennsylvania's election, according to the Tribune's reporting. Days later, the lawyer filed a motion to withdraw as an attorney for the plaintiffs.

Scott's motion also asked to withdraw Texas Sen. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, who works for the same law firm when he's not serving in the Texas Legislature. Hughes was one of the architects of Texas' sweeping voting restriction bill.

Outside of his private practice, Scott served as a deputy attorney general under Abbott when he helmed the Texas Attorney General's Office, the Tribune reports. Scott was later appointed chief operating officer of the state's Health and Human Services Commission.

To officially become secretary of state, Scott will need to be confirmed by the Legislature, which isn't expected to meet again for another two years. Until then, he'll serve on an interim basis, including overseeing the 2022 election in which Abbott is seeking another term.

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January 12, 2022

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