Earlier this week, attorney Tony Buzbee cited potential biases of the Houston Police Department to support his sudden decision to not provide evidence of alleged sexual assaults involving Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson to authorities. Watson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin has fired back in a new statement issued Thursday morning.
“Since March 19, Mr. Tony Buzbee has repeatedly promised to submit evidence to the Houston Police Department in support of his anonymous clients’ complaints against Deshaun Watson,” Hardin said. “So far, he has not done so. Now, in response to media inquiries, Mr. Buzbee has abandoned his promise altogether and, in his words, will go ‘elsewhere to provide his evidence to investigative authorities.’
“His latest excuse for failing to go to law enforcement is also his lamest. Anyone who has dealt with HPD, as I have for many years, would know that Mr. Buzbee’s suggestion that the Department would overlook legitimate complaints based upon a family connection of one of its officers is ludicrous. It is also insulting to the dedicated professionals at HPD and to common sense. Mr. Buzbee’s claimed fear of HPD’s partiality is inconsistent with his prior praise for the Department’s response to the burglary of his home during his recent mayoral campaign. . . .
“I would respectfully suggest that Mr. Buzbee’s failure to go to law enforcement does not result from some baseless fear that HPD will not fairly investigate. Instead, it is from the knowledge that his parade of anonymous allegations could not survive the rigorous inquiry of trained investigators or the need to attest to the truth of the allegations under oath.
“For our part, we will continue to learn about the cases in any way that we can. We and Deshaun will always remain available to any law enforcement or regulatory agency who desires our cooperation. Apparently, Mr. Buzbee is unwilling to do the same.”
If Buzbee truly believes that the Houston Police Department would not take seriously the claims of 21 persons who have filed suit based on Buzbee’s involvement in the cases, maybe he shouldn’t be involved in the cases. If Buzbee doesn’t truly believe that the HPD would give short shrift to the claims of 21 persons because Buzbee represents them, Hardin’s explanation is possibly the accurate one. It’s also possible that Buzbee wants to cut off the “why didn’t these people go to the police?” argument that some have raised. (It’s a flawed argument, but that doesn’t keep people from raising it.)
None of this changes the fact that 21 lawsuits have been filed, that it’s permissible for the 21 persons to seek justice through the civil courts, and that these allegations eventually will be subjected to “rigorous inquiry” and testimony under oath. Before it gets to that point, however, it’s possible if not likely that Hardin’s first effort on behalf of Hardin in court will be to challenge all of the cases based on the fact that not a single name has been attached to any of the 21 complaints.