Texas Doc charged with fabricated voter fraud incident
A Houston-based doctor and conservative activist faces serious criminal charges following a 2020 incident linked to a botched election fraud investigation.
A grand jury this week entered an indictment against Steven Hotze, MD, for felony unlawful duress and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to Harris County District Court records. The charges stem from Hotze’s alleged involvement in an air conditioning repairman held at gunpoint during a search for hundreds of thousands of fraudulent ballots that did not exist.
Hotze, 71, whose attorney has flatly denied the charges against him, has long led efforts to advance conservative issues, including helping secure the 2015 defeat of Houston’s anti-discrimination ordinance, which the doctor denounced as “pro-homosexual”. the Texas Grandstand reported. He also opposed the legalization of same-sex marriage and unsuccessfully sued Harris County in 2020 to invalidate 127,000 ballots cast by voters at drive-thru locations.
The felony charges center on an incident that occurred during the lead-up to the 2020 U.S. presidential election. On October 19, 2020, during a search for fraudulent ballots, an air conditioning repairman was ran off the road and held a gun to his head, the Harris County prosecutor said in a statement released shortly after the incident. Although former Houston Police Captain Mark Anthony Aguirre was arrested and charged with the offense, Aguirre told police he was part of a group of private citizens, known as the “Liberty Center”, which was conducting a civil investigation into an alleged voter fraud scheme. .
Hotze runs the Houston-based nonprofit Liberty Center for God and Country, which allegedly paid Aguirre $266,400, including $211,400 just a day after the incident, prosecutors said.
Aguirre ran his personal SUV in the back of the repairmen’s truck to get him out of his vehicle, according to prosecutors. After the repairman got out of his truck, Aguirre allegedly pointed a handgun at him, tackled him to the ground and put a knee to his back. Rather than the 750,000 fraudulent ballots Aguirre said he searched for, the repairman’s truck contained air conditioning parts and tools, prosecutors said.
Court documents filed this week said Hotze, even in his absence from the scene, recklessly exposed the repairman to substantial risk of serious bodily harm.
The Harris County prosecutor’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did Hotze’s attorneys. However, Gary Polland, one of Hotze’s attorneys, told the Texas Grandstand that the charges against his client are “outrageous” and that his client had no knowledge of the incident involving the repairman until he read media reports of Aguirre’s arrest.
Polland “said that Aguirre asked Hotze for funds to investigate alleged voter fraud, Hotze agreed, and that was the extent of his involvement in Aguirre’s affairs,” according to the Grandstand.
Polland further told the Grandstand that Hotze has no intention of stopping monitoring election activity in Houston.
Bond for Hotze was set at $18,500, which it posted.
Amid the charges, Hotze’s medical license remains active and without any action against her, according to Texas Medical Board online records.
The doctor’s Hotze Health and Wellness Center claimed that it has helped more than 33,000 patients “reclaim their lives using bioidentical hormones that restore hormones to optimal levels, boost the immune system, and increase energy levels.” The center’s website states that “we support you if you have decided not to take the experimental injection of COVID-19”.
One December 2020 FDA warning letter ordered the center to stop selling unapproved and mislabeled products, including vitamins, for COVID-19.