Steven Hotze Biography – Steven Hotze Wiki
Mark Aguirre is accused of running a man off the road and threatening him at gunpoint. The ex-cop was hired as a private investigator by a group whose CEO is GOP activist Steven Hotze.
The former Houston police captain was arrested after allegedly deflecting a man and threatening him at gunpoint – what prosecutors were saying was part of an elaborate attempt to find evidence of a false conspiracy theory of widespread voter fraud in Harris County.
Mark Aguirre was working on behalf of a powerful Republican megadonor group to investigate unconfirmed allegations of widespread voter fraud when Mark Aguirre pulled a gun at a man identified as an “innocent and ordinary” air conditioner in October by the Harris County district attorney’s office. repairman.
According to the Harris County attorney’s office, Aguirre was arrested on Tuesday.
Prosecutors say Aguirre’s allegations of election fraud are unfounded, and he was paid $ 266,400 by the Liberty Center for God and Country group, whose CEO is Texas’s leading right-wing activist Steven Hotze.
Hotze was among a group of Republicans who unsuccessfully sued for the throwing of about 127,000 Harris County ballot papers this year. He was also among the Republicans who tried and failed to prevent Governor Greg Abbott from extending early voting during the coronavirus pandemic, a lawsuit in which Aguirre made sworn statement that he was “involved in a large-scale investigation and fraudulent ballot-collection scheme in Harris County. .
Hotze spokesperson and attorney Jared Woodfill confirmed that Liberty Center is hiring a company led by Aguirre to investigate voter fraud ahead of the 2020 elections. The company has contracted about 20 private detectives to work on allegations of fraudulent ballots in Harris County and other locations in Texas. Woodfill said he knew Aguirre had been arrested, but had not heard about Aguirre’s side of the story.
“[Hotze] did not or did not direct any of the investigations,” Woodfill said, noting that Hotze instead sent clues and information to the team of inspectors to decide how to follow up. “The Freedom Center has employed the investigation team that examined the allegations.”
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Hotze is an active GOP donor and one of the most prolific culture warriors on the right. He was a fierce rival of same sex marriage and a key figure in the failed attempt at the Texas Legislature for the 2017 “bathroom bill”. This summer, he left a voicemail to Abbott’s chief of staff telling him to shoot and kill people protesting George Floyd’s murder in custody.
President Donald Trump, along with the Texas GOP and some key Texan officials, are making hitherto unproven allegations of widespread voter fraud before and after President-elected Joe Biden won the presidential election. Trump recently accepted the unsuccessful lawsuit of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to challenge the 2020 election results in four key battlefield states. The Electoral Board confirmed that Biden won, but 34 of 38 voters in Texas challenged the legislatures of four different states to override their voters’ will and appoint their own voters. And many GOP members of the Texas congressional delegation still haven’t acknowledged Biden’s victory.
While working on behalf of Hotze’s group, which was trying to find evidence of the GOP’s allegations of election fraud, Aguirre spied on the air conditioning technician for four days with the help of at least two anonymous people before the October 19 incident. He later told the authorities that he believed the technician was behind a major voter fraud scheme in the Houston area, according to the statement of the Houston police officer who responded to the incident. Aguirre told the police that he believed the technician was carrying fake ballots in his vehicle and had around 750,000 people.
“There was no ballot in the truck”, according to a press release from the Harris County district attorney’s office. “It was full of air conditioning parts and appliances.”
According to the Houston Chronicle, Aguirre was fired from his job as Houston police captain in 2003 after a controversial raid at a Houston Kmart parking lot.
After the October altercation with the technician, Aguirre also told authorities that he and other unidentified suspects had set up a “command post” at a Marriott hotel in Pearland for days ahead of the incident. He refused to identify the other people he worked with, according to the Houston police report.
Aguirre ran his black SUV into the back of the technician’s truck to get the man to stop and get out, according to a court document describing probable cause for the charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He pointed a handgun at the technician and forced him to the ground, according to the affidavit. One of the other people Aguirre was with allegedly stole the technician’s vehicle after searching it; police later found the abandoned truck a few blocks away.
A few days before Aguirre allegedly assaulted the man, he called Lt. Wayne Rubio with the Texas attorney general’s office, requesting help with the investigation. Rubio declined and reported the call. Days later, he got another call from Aguirre, who was upset that police would not intervene based on his uncorroborated accusations, according to the affidavit, which referred to a phone call and email from Rubio reporting the call to authorities. Aguirre allegedly told Rubio he had been in a car wreck with “a voter fraud suspect.”
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“We are lucky no one was killed,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement. “His alleged investigation was backward from the start — first alleging a crime had occurred and then trying to prove it happened.”
Aguirre was arrested by Houston police Tuesday and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.