Rusty Hardin claims FBI Investigating extortion attempt on Deshaun Watson, Confirms FBI also Focused on Watson
In response to an article by League of Justice yesterday, the attorney for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson says he was forced to respond to allegations by Watson’s accuser’s attorney concerning the involvement of the FBI in the case. Houston based Tony Buzbee, who represents nearly two dozen women accusing Watson of various forms of sexual assault told League of Justice that the FBI is investigating Watson. LOJ confirmed with two separate sources including Rusty Hardin that the FBI had contacted them before running the story. Today, Hardin went public and confirmed that he looked into it and the FBI is examining the allegations made against Watson but cautioned it doesn’t mean Watson did anything wrong. Hardin barked back at Buzbee, calling his public disclosure of a confidential FBI investigation irresponsible and saying he will respond if Buzbee continues to spread information about Watson that could damage the quarterback’s reputation. Buzbee for his part claims all he did was tell the truth. He detailed to League of Justice, his discussions with FBI agents whom he claims he met with three times, as recently as last week. Buzbee also said he met with an Assistant United States Attorney and was told the agency would not waste his time and found the evidence “very compelling” and “very persuasive.” Hardin claims Watson did nothing wrong.
Alleged Extortion Attempt on Watson
In a new twist, Watson’s attorney said the FBI reached out to him in April and he allowed Deshaun to be interviewed. He says he did so because he believes Watson has done nothing wrong and they want to cooperate with all investigations. At the time, he did not know the FBI may have been looking into Buzbee’s clients allegations against Watson as well. He says the subject of the FBI’s investigation at that time was to examine a possible extortion attempt against Deshaun Watson by one of the women who accused him of forcing her to perform oral sex in her civil lawsuit. Hardin read alleged text messages from the woman to Deshaun that he claims were sent after the massage took place. One of the messages thanked Deshaun for allowing her to do the massage and asked if he wanted another. A second text, was an alleged apology by the woman to Deshaun for her behavior but it’s unclear what behavior was being referenced. Hardin questioned the details of the woman’s civil lawsuit, considering the nature of the texts. He said he will not litigate this case in the media but if Buzbee continues to try to drum up publicity for himself, then Hardin promises a strong response, including more evidence will be leaked ahead of any civil trial, which could be more than a year and a half away. It’s clear from today’s presser, Deshaun Watson and his normally reserved and play by the rules attorney have had enough.
Listen to Rusty Hardin’s full press conference today HERE
The FBI will neither confirm nor deny that the agency is investigating Deshaun Watson. He has not been criminally charged. Last week, Fox 26 Houston reported that a grand jury is investigating Watson and the Chief of the Human Trafficking division is heading up subpoenas in the case.
During a grand jury hearing, the prosecutor will present his or her evidence from the police investigation and ask the grand jury to give him or her permission to bring one or more felony charges against Watson. The grand jury will decide if the evidence presented warrants charges under the law and vote in favor or against.
The NFL is conducting its own investigation but is holding off on announcing a result or speaking with Watson so as not to interfere with the federal or state criminal investigations. Its policy is to place a player on the Commissioner’s exempt list if and when there is a criminal charge related to sexual assault or domestic violence, but not until that happens. For now Deshaun Watson will be allowed to play.
In fairness, we present both sides. Here is an audio version of a small part of Tony Buzbee’s response to Rusty Hardin’s presser today. It is the exclusive property of League of Justice and may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without permission, which would be in violation of the law. To hear more exclusive content from our Founder Amy Dash’s interview with Buzbee, subscribe on the homepage to LOJ’s substack!