Following the impeachment of Attorney General Ken Paxton, Gov. Greg Abbott has announced that Fort Worth attorney John Scott will take Paxton’s place until the trial concludes in the Senate.

Scott has previously served as the secretary of state and worked in the attorney general’s office when Abbott held the position.

“John Scott has the background and experience needed to step in as a short-term interim Attorney General during the time the Attorney General has been suspended from duty,” said Abbott. “He served under me in the Texas Attorney General’s Office and knows how the Office of the Attorney General operates. Scott was the Deputy Attorney General for Civil Litigation and has handled cases at all levels of the justice system. His decades of experience and expertise in litigation will help guide him while serving as the state’s top law enforcement officer. I appoint John Scott for this role based on the Texas Constitution to serve for a temporary period during the Texas Senate’s resolution of the impeachment proceedings.”

Under the rules of impeachment, the governor may appoint an interim replacement for the impeached officeholder during the Senate’s trial.

Scott’s placement comes as some surprise, however, as First Assistant Attorney General Brent Webster informed staff on Saturday that he would be heading up the office in Paxton’s absence. Prior to joining the AG’s office, Webster served as a criminal prosecutor in Texas for 10 years, as well as serving as the first assistant district attorney in Williamson County.

On Saturday, Webster sent an email to all employees at the Office of the Attorney General to inform them of the change and that the executive leadership team will be readily available.

“I will continue to lead the agency while Attorney General Paxton deals with the impeachment proceedings,” Webster wrote. “The day-to-day operations of the agency will continue smoothly and our executive leadership team is available to address any issues that might arise.”

In the wake of Paxton’s impeachment, six members of the Texas Attorney General’s Office have taken a leave of absence to defend Paxton in his upcoming trial, which must be held before August 28.

The Senate trial will require a two-thirds majority vote for conviction in order to remove Paxton from office.

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens