Politics

Ex-Aide Said He Lacked Character to Challenge Stockman

Former aide has agreed to testify against his former boss in hopes of a lenient sentence

An aide to former Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, said he knew he was conducting illegal activity on Stockman's behalf. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A former aide to former Texas Rep. Steve Stockman said he lacked the character to challenge Stockman in his alleged money siphoning scheme.

Jason Posey, who plead guilty to wire fraud and money laundering last year, has testified against his former boss in Stockman’s trial for using money meant for charitable causes to pay for campaign and personal expenses without paying taxes.

Posey said he knew that was Stockman was asking him to do, like setting up bogus charities and misleading wealthy donors, was illegal.

“I’m sorry I had the lack of character to stand up to him and ask why,” Posey said, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Philip Hilder, Posey’s lawyer, said his client had known Stockman since the 1990s when his client was an “idealistic young intern.”

“Posey found him to be charismatic and over time a mentor and father figure that he believed in and trusted to the extent that it caused an impairment in Posey’s judgment,” Hilder said.

The prosecution’s final witness was FBI special agent Leanna Saler, who told the jury that Stockman forwarded money to Posey while the aide was living in Egypt.

Saler also testified that Posey and Stockman used burner phones to discuss an illegal campaign donation.

Stockman’s lawyers claim that he never meant to commit fraud despite messy finances.

Stockman’s first witness was Callie Beck, who said she attended a Christian summer camp with money donated by Stockman.

But Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Annis asked Beck if she was aware of the fact that the money used to pay for her summer camp was meant for Freedom House, a program Stockman pitched to house Capitol Hill interns.

Prior testimony revealed that Stockman received a $350,000 check from conservative donor Richard Uihlein meant for Freedom House that ultimately paid for Beck’s camp and other unrelated expenses.

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