Something strange happens when the President sees conspiracies everywhere: they tend to bleed into the rest of the government, at least the Republican government. Now, a crooked former GOP Congressman, who’s best known for inviting Ted Nugent to President Obama’s State of the Union speech, is blaming a Trump-touted conspiracy for the fact the he allegedly stole money for his campaign and personal use and got caught.
Former Texas Rep. Steve Stockman blamed the “deep state” on his alleged campaign finance crimes, for which he was arrested.
“This is part of a deep state that’s continuing to progress,” he said after a hearing. Stockman cited a right-wing conspiracy theory that the IRS targeted conservative groups.
Stockman is being charged with diverting money from a charitable organization called Life Without Limits to his political campaign and for personal use.
“Beginning shortly after the $350,000 charitable donation was deposited into his Life Without Limits account, rather than spending the money on the ‘Freedom House,’ Stockman secretly diverted the funds to pay for a variety of personal expenses and to fund illegal contributions to Stockman’s campaigns for public office,” court documents filed with the criminal complaint stated.
Since Trump has taken office, we’ve seen a lot about the supposed deep state. The deep state is, according to the Oxford Dictionary, “A body of people, typically influential members of government agencies or the military, believed to be involved in the secret manipulation or control of government policy.” Before Trump’s election, the term was generally only used by fringe conspiracy theorists and white supremacists who accuse Jewish people of running a shadow government. Now, though, the head of the deep state could be Jewish, but he could also be Barack Obama. Conspiracy theories are fluid like that.
Of course, Stockman has a history with the IRS. During the non-scandal scandal that involved the IRS daring to verify the veracity of non-profit statuses (from both sides of the aisle), he called for the arrest of IRS head at the time, Lois Lerner. It’s looking more and more like his only reason for wanting Lerner’s arrest was to prevent his arrest.
Stockman has been released on bond and his main defense is that he stole only $15,000, not $350,000.
Featured image via Gage Skidmore/Flickr