The Texas Democrats’ great hyped hope has another, very large, problem on her hands. Travis County officials have revealed that state Sen. Davis’ lawyer work with the North Texas Tollway Authority is part of FBI investigation.
The Dallas Morning News has the bombshell.
The Travis County district attorney’s office said last month that details from its review of a 2012 complaint that a rival filed about Davis’ legal and political activities were “the subject of an open investigation” by the FBI. The district attorney’s office closed its review last year without taking any action.
Davis, the Democratic nominee for governor, has said her legal work for the agency posed no conflicts with her legislative duties.
Zac Petkanas, a Davis spokesman, said the FBI has not questioned her. He said Davis was told in August by her legal counsel that others were interested in the information gathered in the Travis County investigation, but she didn’t know it was the FBI until this month when contacted by The Dallas Morning News.
“We are not aware that Wendy Davis is the subject or target of any investigation,” he said.
Travis County is notoriously political, biased toward Democrats since the days of District Attorney Ronnie Earle. That’s not my opinion. It’s a fact.
Travis County prosecutors, in a March 24 letter, told the attorney general’s office that the FBI had informed them that release of files from the district attorney’s now-completed 2013 review of Davis’ legal work for the agency “would interfere with the FBI’s prosecution of the crime underlying the information.”
The county’s letter came in response to The News’ open-records request for the files. The county cited several potential justifications for withholding the files, including the ongoing federal inquiry.
Read the rest.
The complaint against Davis stems from her 2012 run for re-election to the Texas Senate. Her Republican opponent, state Rep. Mark Shelton, filed a complaint with Travis County, which looked into the matter but concluded that since Davis’ actions mostly took place in Tarrant County, Travis authorities lacked jurisdiction. That did not stop them from going after Tom DeLay a few years back, even charging him with actions that were not illegal when they occurred (DeLay’s convictions were overturned on appeal in 2013 — he was fully acquitted). So it’s no surprise that Travis decided not to prosecute Davis, a Democrat.
The deals in which Davis was involved, which the DMN reported earlier this week, are the subject of the ongoing FBI probe. It’s not clear whether Davis herself is a target. But the fact that she voted on bills in ways that helped her financially, even changing her position in the midst of events, suggest that she is. Davis denies any wrongdoing and told the DMN that she just fights for her constituents.
Davis is is the Democratic nominee for governor of Texas. Republican nominee Greg Abbott’s campaign issued the following statement about the FBI probe.
“This revelation – the latest in a series of bombshells regarding Sen. Davis’ ethical conduct – is both shocking and unsurprising at the same time,” spokesman Matt Hirsch said in the statement. “Sen. Davis must fully disclose the facts about any wrongdoing and the extent of her involvement in that wrongdoing. Texans deserve to know the truth about Sen. Davis’ involvement in a matter the FBI is investigating. This is a serious ethics issue that may violate federal law and cannot be swept under the rug, as Sen. Davis has tried to do when confronted with questions about her ethics thus far.”