Hotze paid investigator/gunman Mark Aguirre over a quarter of a million dollars, and the vast majority of that was paid to Aguirre the day after the assault on an air conditioner repairman.
GOP Megadonor Indicted For Role In 'Election Fraud' Assault
Hotze paid Mark Aguirre (above) over $250,000 to 'investigate' Republican election fraud claims, which resulted in Aguirre running a repairman off the road and holding him at gunpoint to search his work truck for imaginary 'ballots.'Credit: Houston Police Department
April 23, 2022

Hey, it looks like maybe there will be some consequences for one of the big-time Republican donors who helped push the party's hoaxes about supposed "election fraud" when Republicans didn't win a presidential election and started having an absolute fascist cow about it.

And by "maybe," I mean probably not, and by "consequences," I mean he'll probably never see the inside of an actual Texas courtroom ever because the Texas courts would rather burn their own buildings down than abide a rich conservative guy having to answer for a crime. But at least we can enjoy Steven Hotze getting his name in the newspapers for helping to fund a crackpot Republican vigilante who ran an air conditioner repairman off the road and held him at gunpoint, believing the repairman to be involved in some weirdly premised "election fraud" scheme that existed only as a propaganda campaign in the heads of those shouting it.

The Texas Tribune reports that Texas Republican "megadonor" Steven Hotze was on Wednesday indicted on two felony counts for his role in that armed assault. Hotze wasn't at the scene, but the man who held the repairman at gunpoint so that his truck could be searched was one of the supposed investigators Hotze was paying to find supposed fraud. And while Hotze's lawyer is performatively outraged that Hotze would face charges over that, Hotze wasn't just a little involved.

Hotze paid investigator/gunman Mark Aguirre over a quarter of a million dollars, and the vast majority of that was paid to Aguirre the day after the assault.

Anyway, the guy is a far-right activist, he's been active in Texas Republican politics for approximately forever, he's able to shell out a truly bizarre amount of money even for an alleged physician—who the hell throws down a quarter-million bucks for some random gun-toting ex-cop to go on a violent "fraud hunt" based on nothing but internet conspiracy claims?—and now he and his ally Ken Paxton are both qualified to wear "currently indicted for criminal acts but still quite welcome in all Republican circles" commemorative t-shirts. But now he'll have to spend money on a few more lawyers as well, which is money that can't go toward getting anyone else in Texas nearly gunned down over a hoax. It’s the small things that count.

The idea that you can pay someone a quarter of a million dollars to "find" election fraud and the guy you're paying follows that order by running a random vehicle off the road in the dead of night and holding a man at gunpoint in order to search his work truck for "ballots" is extremely not good, and yeah, it's pretty clear why a grand jury thought Hotze's extremely lavish funding of the scheme counts as being involved with the crime. There's a deeper story here somewhere, and if Hotze wants to argue that he was conned by a violent weirdo he's going to have to have a better explanation for why he paid $211,000 of the $266,000 provided the day after the attack took place.

Because that doesn't look like an "investigation," that looks like a bounty being paid out for doing "something" publicly to keep the election fraud hoax alive—even if the "something" meant pinning that hoax on random and innocent people.

Published with permission from Daily Kos.

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.