Abbott told Fox News host Chris Wallace in a recent interview that the audit began “months ago” and was not due to pressure from Trump, but that claim has been questioned by Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee.
“[Abbott] and his SOS office are telling the public the SOS’s ‘audit’ of the 2020 election has been going on for months,” said Menefee. “I sent the SOS a demand for their internal documents to confirm whether that’s true, and to get answers since we’ve heard nothing about this audit.”
Along with his short statement, Menefee included an open records request that he sent the SOS — an office that has a vacancy in the top position after the legislature declined to confirm the previous secretary of state’s nomination.
His letter requests a long list of internal records from the office related to allegations of fraud in the 2020 election and calls for an audit.
As of the time of publication, the SOS’s office has not responded to a request for comment or confirmation of Abbott’s claim.
Before submitting his open records request, Menefee, a Democrat, had already expressed political opposition to the audit.
“The one thing we know about this audit – it’s being done in bad faith,” he tweeted. “The motives here are clear—to sow distrust in our elections, to intimidate election officials workers, and to appease conspiracy theorists.”
Abbott has been criticized by many other Democrats for the reasons Menefee listed as well as because they see an audit as a concession to Trump and a waste of money.
At the same time, the governor has also come under fire from opponents on the political right for not pushing for a broader audit. Trump requested Abbott to give lawmakers an opportunity to pass legislation that would have required an audit of more of the state’s major counties, but based on what the SOS announced, only four counties are being audited.
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Daniel Friend is the Marketing and Media Manager for The Texan. After graduating with a double-major in Political Science and Humanities, he wrote for The Texan as a reporter through June 2022. In his spare time, you're likely to find him working on The Testimony of Calvin Lewis, an Abolition of Man-inspired novel and theatrical podcast.