On Friday, former President Donald Trump released a statement lauding the Texas Senate for prioritizing legislation that would authorize a forensic audit of the 2020 presidential election in Texas.

“Just heard Patriots are moving the Texas Audit Bill forward. Texas State Senator Paul Bettencourt filed Senate Bill 47, legislation that authorizes Texans to initiate a strong and real Forensic Audit of the 2020 Presidential Election Scam – not a weak risk-limiting audit that is being slow-walked through the Secretary of State’s office. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a great guy, sent the bill to the State Affairs Committee the very same day, and it should quickly pass through the Senate. There is still time for the House to take up the issue in the Third Special session with House Bill 16,” Trump said.

Republican State Sen. Paul Bettencourt (Houston) filed Senate Bill 47, which was immediately referred to the Senate State Affairs Committee.

“I’d like to thank Dan and Paul for their bold leadership, and for listening to Texans who are demanding answers about Nov. 3. Everyone feels certain Governor Abbott will follow suit. This will have a big impact on the upcoming 2022 and 2024 elections in Texas. Texas will always be red, but we must stop the cheating,” Trump said.

Bettencourt filed similar legislation in the most recent special legislative session, but it was considered in the waning days of the special session. As a result, the legislation passed the Senate but was never considered in the House of Representatives.

Last Thursday, Trump penned an open letter imploring Gov. Greg Abbott to add election audit legislation to the ongoing special legislative session agenda, specifically citing a currently filed House bill by State Rep. Steve Toth (R–The Woodlands).

Thus far, Abbott has not added it to the agenda for consideration or publicly commented on the request. The Texas secretary of state’s office reported they have already begun an audit of four large Texas counties.

Toth told Texas Scorecard he had “no idea” whether the bill would be added to the special session agenda. But, like Trump, he criticized the current audit as insufficient.

“It’s a risk-limiting audit. It’s not a forensic audit,” said Toth. “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. You can call it a forensic audit all you want, but that’s not what it is.”

Don Huffines, a candidate for Texas governor and challenger to Abbott, released a statement saying, “It is unbelievable that Greg Abbott continues to oppose a strong and real forensic audit of the 2020 election in Texas. President Donald Trump is right to call him out. I have long believed we must have forensic audits. It’s time Greg Abbott stop siding with Democrats on this.”

The ongoing special session has the ability to last until October 19.

Jeramy Kitchen

Jeramy Kitchen serves as the Capitol Correspondent for Texas Scorecard as well as host of 'This Week in Texas', a show previewing the week ahead in Texas politics. After managing campaigns for conservative legislators across the state, serving as Chief of Staff for multiple conservative state legislators, and serving as Legislative Director for the largest public policy think tank in Texas, Jeramy moved outside of the Austin bubble to focus on bringing transparency to the legislative process.