Interim Texas AG Appointed Amid Paxton Impeachment

( – With Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton suspended and facing an impeachment trial, Governor Greg Abbott has chosen John Scott as interim AG.

Scott was Texas’ Secretary of state until late in 2022. He will take over Paxton’s duties as Paxton awaits a Senate impeachment trial. That trial will take place on or before August 28. 

The state House of Representatives impeached Paxton the weekend of May 27-28. That impeachment will not be considered final until or unless it is ratified in the Senate trial. Paxton is accused of bribery, corruption, obstruction of justice, and of other complaints. 

Among the accusations against him is a claim that Paxton used his status as AG to get a job for the woman he was having an affair with. In an uncomfortable twist, Paxton’s wife, Angela Paxton, is a Texas state senator. The law requires all Senators to serve as jurors in impeachment trials. 

It is not clear whether Angela Paxton may be asked to testify in the proceedings. 

Interim AG John Scott has long been a political ally of Gov. Abbott, and he supervised the 2022 state elections before leaving his position as Secretary of State. 

Gov. Abbott praised Scott’s qualifications for the interim role in a statement that did not mention Ken Paxton or his upcoming trial. He said Scott has the “background and experience” necessary to perform the office’s duties. 

Scott and Abbott have worked together for at least ten years. During Abbott’s time as state AG, John Scott was working as a lawyer for the state. But Scott’s brief involvement with former President Donald Trump’s legal team makes some skeptical. Scott helped Trump challenge the 2020 presidential elections but has since said he does not dispute the results and that Joe Biden was lawfully elected President. 

Suspended AG Paxton has called his impeachment an attempt to thwart “the will of the people” and the voters in Texas. 

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