GOP donor attempts to offer an explanation for the recorded call about his conspiracy-driven voter fraud probe: report

GOP donor attempts to offer an explanation for the recorded call about his conspiracy-driven voter fraud probe: report
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Details about a call between well-known Republican donor Dr. Steven F. Hotze and a federal prosecutor in Texas are now coming to light. According to The Washington Post, documents filed by prosecutors in a Harris County, Texas court on Friday, May 6, 2022, indicate that the call took place on October 17, 2020. The audio of the call was presented as part of Hotze's indictment.

Per The Post, Hotze claimed, "private investigators funded by his nonprofit group had been trailing a mysterious white van as it shuttled phony ballots around the city in an effort to rig the upcoming election." At the time, he reportedly requested that federal authorities stop the mysterious van and detain its driver. He also insisted that "one of his hard-nosed investigators was prepared to do the job himself."

A transcript of the phone conversation was also included in the filing. “In fact, he told me last night, ‘hell … the guy’s gonna have a wreck tomorrow night. I’m going to run into him and I’m gonna make a citizen’s arrest,” Hotze told Ryan Patrick, the Trump-appointed U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Texas, who recorded audio of the conversation.

Just two days after the recorded call, Hotze's private investigator ran the driver of the van off the road and ended up holding him at gunpoint. However, the accusations were deeply flawed as the man turned out to be an air conditioning repairman. Local police also reportedly confirmed the man's innocence and occupation as they indicated that "his truck only contained repair parts."

In addition to targeting the delivery driver, Hotze is also said to have raised concerns about an alleged election conspiracy he believed Democrats had crafted.

Per The Post: "In the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, Hotze received regular briefings about the private investigation from a former Houston police officer hired to run the probe, he said in his deposition. During weekly calls, he said, the ex-cop, Mark Aguirre, detailed his pursuit of a sensational theory: Democrats were using undocumented Hispanic children to forge signatures on hundreds of thousands of phony ballots to rig the election in Harris County, home to Houston."

During the deposition, Hotze said,“From what he told me, it appeared he was hot on a trail."

“The defendants were charged as part of a bizarre scheme that crossed the line from dirty politics to violent crime and we are lucky no one was killed,” she said Friday. “The entire plan was backward from the start, alleging massive voter fraud occurred and then trying to prove it happened.”

Despite the incriminating phone call audio, Hotze's attorney Jared Woodfill argues, "the recording did not capture the complete conversation between Hotze and Patrick." He also insists, “The Ryan Patrick tape further demonstrates that the indictment of Dr. Hotze was politically motivated and that Dr. Hotze is innocent of any criminal or civil wrongdoing.”

However, Democrats argue otherwise. Democratic District Attorney Kim Ogg condemned the whole voter fraud conspiracy describing it as a “misguided fantasy.” She weighed in on the debacle on Friday.

“The defendants were charged as part of a bizarre scheme that crossed the line from dirty politics to violent crime and we are lucky no one was killed,” she said. “The entire plan was backward from the start, alleging massive voter fraud occurred and then trying to prove it happened.”

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