Fact Check: Was a Biden Campaign Official Arrested?

Since President-elect Joe Biden was deemed the winner of the 2020 election in November, numerous allegations of voter fraud have been made by President Donald Trump, as well as his supporting voters and other politicians.

One of the attempts to overturn the results of the election was made in December by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. He filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out results from Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin because, according to Paxton's press release, "The battleground states flooded their people with unlawful ballot applications and ballots while ignoring statutory requirements as to how they were received, evaluated and counted."

The suit was rejected by the Supreme Court because it lacked standing.

On January 13, Paxton's office published another press release stating that a woman from San Antonio was arrested for "election fraud, illegal voting, unlawfully assisting people voting by mail, and unlawfully possessing an official ballot."

Now, individuals on social media are making claims about whom the woman, identified as Raquel Rodriguez, was working for.

The Claim

Multiple people on Twitter have claimed that Rodriguez was allegedly committing election fraud on behalf of Biden. One poster is Alexander Muse, author of the yet-to-be-released book, "Deplatformed: The Conservative Survival Guide."

BREAKING: Biden election official has been arrested for widespread election fraud in Texas. Felony charges include election fraud, illegal voting, illegal vote-by-mail, possession of official ballots. Election fraud is investigated and prosecuted in Texas. GA? Get busy... pic.twitter.com/xmTYTU4SwQ

— @amuse (@amuse) January 13, 2021

The Facts

According to the NBC News affiliate in San Antonio (WOAI-TV), Project Veritas, a far-right activist group founded by James O'Keefe, released a heavily edited video of Rodriguez in October in which she claimed several candidates paid her to perform a variety of acts of voter fraud.

WOAI-TV also reported that Rodriguez claimed she lied about what she said in the recording.

"I don't care again what party you are, I'm non-partisan," Rodriguez said in an interview with the interview-based web show Carpenters Apprentice. "I feel horrible about that because reality is that I lied. I lied about a lot of stuff. Just to make sure I was enticing them just enough to find out what the bottom of this was. They asked for a proposal, I gave them a proposal."

Project Veritas did not disclose its identity when recording Rodriguez but simply told her that it was seeking a consultant for an upcoming San Antonio City Council race, according to WOAI-TV.

The New York Times reported in September that Project Veritas released a deceptive video claiming that Minnesota Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar's campaign had collected ballots illegally, which researchers called "a coordinated disinformation campaign."

According to the San Antonio Express-News, the video also shows that Rodriguez asked an elderly woman if she "meant to check the box for Republican Senator John Cornyn, since she previously had indicated that she wanted to vote only for Democrats."

Rodriguez claimed in a Facebook post that the woman she was speaking to was her aunt.

"What Project Veritas published was a conversation between relatives and a serious breach of privacy," Rodriguez wrote. "While I made false statements to the operatives in order to confirm my suspicions and further my own investigation, I did nothing illegal or unethical as implied by their edited video," she said.

While I made false statements to the operatives in order to confirm my suspicions and further my own investigation, I did nothing illegal or unethical as implied by their edited video.
Raquel Rodriguez

The San Antonio Express-News also reported that Rodriguez was a volunteer for Republican congressional candidate Mauro Garza, who challenged Representative Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) and lost. Garza told the San Antonio Express-News that he welcomes an investigation and that Rodriguez no longer was serving on his campaign without explaining why.

In the video, Rodriguez mentioned working for former Senator Pete Flores (R-Texas) and Democratic state Representative Elizabeth Campos.

Rodriguez also claimed to have attorney Nicole Garza, then-Democratic candidate for the 37th Civil District Court bench, and former state Republican District Judge Renee Yanta "in her pocket." According to the San Antonio Express-News, Yanta has sued Rodriguez, alleging defamation.

"I can tell you the allegations she made regarding me are wholly untrue," Nicole Garza said in a statement in October. "I am deeply troubled by the notion that someone could simply make a false statement about me (or anyone else) on video, and that no one would take the time to ask whether the allegations were true."

The San Antonio Express-News does not mention that Rodriguez was working on behalf of Biden or has any affiliation to Biden.

A similar accusation was made in November against Dallas Jones, who was hired as Biden's Texas political director in September, according to Reuters. Social media users claimed that Jones was arrested for voter fraud, but Reuters found no evidence of Jones' alleged arrest and was told by a Biden spokesperson that the social media claims about Jones were "laughably false."

Now, Rodriguez is being investigated for a variety of forms of voter fraud, including vote harvesting, which is when a third party collects absentee ballots from voters' homes and drops them off at a polling place or election office.

According to the Texas Public Policy Foundation, "in Texas, vote harvesting is illegal, at least to the extent where state law prohibits a voter's absentee ballot being completed and mailed by someone other than a close relative."

If convicted, Rodriguez could face up to 20 years in prison, according to Paxton's statement. The arrest was based on "dozens of hours of unedited, raw footage" reviewed by the Election Fraud Division of the Office of the Attorney General.

"This is a victory for election integrity and a strong signal that anyone who attempts to defraud the people of Texas, deprive them of their vote, or undermine the integrity of elections will be brought to justice," Paxton said in a statement.

"The shocking and blatantly illegal action documented by Project Veritas demonstrates a form of election fraud my office continually investigates and prosecutes."

The Ruling

False.

There is no evidence that Raquel Rodriguez has any affiliation to President-elect Biden or that she was committing voter fraud on behalf of Biden. Texas Attorney General Paxton is investigating Rodriguez involving multiple forms of voter fraud.

ken paxton files election lawsuit Supreme Court
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit with the U.S. Supreme Court in December alleging that officials in four other states had violated the Electors Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis/Getty