‘He caved in minutes’: Texas judge slams governor for agreeing to Trump’s election audit

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A judge in Texas says Governor Greg Abbott gave in to Donald Trump’s request for an election audit almost instantly, and state officials are still catching up.

“The reality is, Trump demanded it, he caved in minutes later,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins told CBS DFW.

The former president, who for almost a year has baselessly claimed the 2020 election was stolen, demanded an audit of Texas’ vote in an open letter to Mr Abbott on Thursday.

“Despite my big win in Texas, I hear Texans want an election audit!” wrote Mr Trump, who won the state in November. “Texas needs you to act now … Your citizens don’t trust the election system, and they want your leadership on this issue, which is the number one thing they care about.”

Hours later, Texas’ Secretary of State’s Office announced that there would be an audit of the election. But according to Judge Jenkins, no one at that office seemed to have a plan for how the audit would work.

“They weren’t able to tell us anything as far as what they wanted,” the judge said.

A statement from the Collin County Elections Administrator, Bruce Sherbet, appeared to confirm that officials were caught off guard by the announcement.

“Collin County has not been updated on the schedule or processes for the audit yet but we are prepared to assist the state in any way needed,” Mr Sherbet told CBS DFW.

Watch: Texas secretary of state's office so far not releasing details behind 2020 election forensic audit plan

On Monday, the Secretary of State’s Office released a statement saying audits have already been going on for months – and that a different office was responsible for them.

“Election audits have been underway for several months to identify and remove illegally registered voters, and we refer these cases to the Attorney General’s office,” the office said.

It was not immediately clear whether these were the kind of audit Mr Trump requested.

Another judge, Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley, confirmed that election officials seemed to be scrambling.

“The Secretary of State’s office just said, we’ll get back to you,” Judge Whitley told CBS DFW. “We’re in the middle of the plan. And when we have more details, we’ll get back with you. At the same time, we welcome the opportunity to assist and do whatever we can we feel comfortable with the election.”

The Independent has reached out to Governor Abbott’s office for comment, but had not heard back at the time of publication.

On Sunday, the governor defended the planned election audit on Fox News.

“We have a responsibility to ensure the integrity and confidence in the elections in the state of Texas,” Mr Abbott said.

Watch: Gov. Abbott: Biden admin has 'abandoned any pretense' of securing sovereignty of US

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