Citing ‘false and misleading statements,’ attorney for arrested SA campaign worker wants warrants tossed out

Attorney says client Raquel Rodriguez is the niece of alleged victim shown in undercover video

Raquel Rodriguez (left) faces charges of election fraud, illegal voting, unlawfully assisting people voting by mail, and unlawfully possessing an official ballot, according to a press release from AG Ken Paxton’s office. (Kendall County)

KENDALL COUNTY, Texas – A San Antonio campaign worker at the center of a voter fraud case has asked a judge to toss out the warrants used to arrest her earlier this month, claiming in a court filing Friday that the state investigator in the case used false and misleading information to get the warrants signed.

The writ of habeas corpus, filed in Kendall County District Court, asks for a hearing so the four warrants against Raquel Rodriguez can be voided and she can be released from her pretrial release bonds.

Rodriguez, 55, was arrested Jan. 13 in San Antonio on multiple felony charges, months after she was prominently featured in a Project Veritas video, allegedly describing to an undercover journalist how she convinces voters to change their ballots and in return provides the voters with gift bags.

The video prompted the Texas Attorney General’s Office to launch a criminal investigation of Rodriguez, which resulted in her being charged with election fraud, illegal voting, unlawfully assisting people voting by mail and unlawfully possessing an official ballot.

Some of the charges against Rodriguez were enhanced because the woman she’s accused of instructing to change her votes was older than 65.

An attorney representing Rodriguez revealed Friday, however, that his client is the niece of the woman shown in the video.

If Rodriguez is able to prove the relationship in court, its possible some of the charges could be dismissed.

Rodriguez was seen in the video in early October meeting with a woman, who at the time was 72 years old, on the porch of the woman’s near West Side home.

The footage, which officials from the AG’s office claim they were able to view raw and unedited, allegedly shows Rodriguez instruct the woman to draw a line through her vote and initial the change.

Rodriguez then takes the ballot from the woman and appears to cross out a vote for U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican, and marks it instead for Democratic candidate M.J. Hegar, according to the warrants.

Rodriguez then seals the ballot and takes it with her, even though the woman had a mailbox just a few feet away, according to the warrants.

Friday’s filing states the AG investigator intentionally used “misstatements and material omissions” to get a judge to sign the arrest warrants.

A spokesperson for the AG’s office did not respond to an email seeking comment Friday.

Rodriguez is free on bond awaiting trial, but faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the charges.

Project Veritas is a far-right activist organization that utilizes undercover video and audio in its projects. The organization, along with founder James O’Keefe, have been criticized for using what are described as deceptive editing techniques.


About the Author:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined the KSAT 12 Defenders in 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat. He provides restaurant health reports for KSAT's "Behind the Kitchen Door." Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.