Texas Governor Appoints John Scott as Interim Attorney General After Impeachment of Ken Paxton

Texas Governor Appoints John Scott as Interim Attorney General After Impeachment of Ken Paxton
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton makes a statement at his office in Austin on May 26, 2023. (Eric Gay/AP Photo)
Savannah Hulsey Pointer

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott appointed John Scott to serve as the state's interim attorney general after the Texas House of Representatives voted to impeach Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Abbott made the appointment on May 31 following the state legislature's move to impeach Paxton due to allegations of malfeasance.

Scott, a Republican, has previously worked in the office of the Texas attorney general. He most recently served as Texas secretary of state.

Abbott appointed Scott as the state's chief elections officer in October 2021, and he held the position until December 2022, when he resigned prior to the state Senate's confirmation vote.

Scott was on former President Donald Trump's legal team last year when it challenged the results of the 2020 election. After three days, Scott left the team.

During the time Abbott served as Texas' attorney general, Scott was also the deputy attorney general. As a lawyer for the state, Scott fought for Texas' strict voter ID law, which went into effect after Democrats and minority rights groups fought it in court for years.

On May 27, the state House voted to remove Paxton from office.

Twenty articles of impeachment were sent to the state Senate. To move forward with the impeachment, the House needed a clear majority of its 149 members. Sixty of the 85 House Republicans agreed with the Democrats, making the final vote 121–23.

The House impeachment process was "absolutely political targeting," and the House General Investigating Committee process was "flawed" and "despicable," Republican state Rep. Tony Tinderholt said in an interview on Newsmax on May 30.

Misuse of governmental power, bribery, and abuse of public trust are among the charges leveled against Paxton. The 60-year-old, who is being investigated by the FBI, was elected to a third term in November.

Five of the sixty Republicans who voted for Paxton's impeachment represent Collin County, where Paxton and his wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton, reside.

Reps. Jeff Leach, Matt Shaheen, Justin Holland, Candy Noble, and Frederick Frazier said in a joint statement that the vote was "an incredibly difficult vote as, for most of us, Ken has been a longtime friend."

Paxton experienced automatic suspension from office pending the outcome of a trial in the state Senate, which could result in his permanent removal.

Paxton has seen several scandals in the past, but he maintained his party's support to win three state-wide attorney general elections before being abruptly removed from power by a vote in the Republican-controlled House.

The Epoch Times was unable to reach Paxton for comment.

Jana J. Pruet and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
Savannah Pointer is a politics reporter for The Epoch Times. She can be reached at savannah.pointer@epochtimes.us