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Texas governor appoints former Trump lawyer who challenged 2020 results to be secretary of state

John Scott, a Fort Worth lawyer who briefly represented former President Donald Trump, will oversee Abbott's re-election contest.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks on Austin on  May 18, 2020.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks on Austin on May 18, 2020.Lynda M. Gonzalez / Pool via Getty Images file

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott appointed a lawyer who briefly represented former President Donald Trump in challenging the 2020 election results to be Texas' next secretary of state.

The lawyer, John Scott, will oversee next year's contests, including Abbott's own re-election battle, as well as a recently announced review of 2020 election results in four counties. The appointment was first reported by The Texas Tribune.

Scott was listed as counsel on Trump's lawsuit to try to block certification of the results of Pennsylvania's election in November. A few days after the suit was filed, Reuters reported at the time, Scott filed a motion to withdraw himself and a fellow lawyer, Texas state Sen. Bryan Hughes, from the case. Hughes led legislative efforts this year to pass sweeping election restrictions into law.

The previous secretary of state resigned in May after the Legislature declined to take up her nomination for confirmation; Scott will be interim secretary until he is confirmed. The next scheduled legislative session is in 2023.

Abbott said in a statement that Scott was an "ideal choice."

"John understands the importance of protecting the integrity of our elections and building the Texas brand on an international stage," he said. "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."

Scott was deputy attorney general when Abbott was attorney general.