A witness in the fraud trial for former Rep. Steve Stockman said the Texas Republican used former officials from Egypt’s defense ministry to try to raise $30 million in donations from an international cement company.
The witness said Stockman claimed the money would go toward education about the Middle East and potentially could be used to ship medical supplies, the Houston Chronicle reported.
While the donation from CEMEX never happened, prosecutors said an aide who arranged Stockman’s trip to Egypt was given money meant for one of Stockman’s charitable outlets.
The testimony is the latest twist in the corruption trial for Stockman, who faces 28 charges including filing a false tax return and using charitable donations to pay for campaign and personal expenses.
But Stockman’s lawyer Sean Buckley dismissed the accusations by prosecutors as a sideshow.
“It’s a time-consuming effort to make Mr. Stockman look like he’s involved in a bunch of shady stuff, none of which is charged in the indictment,” Buckley said.
Previously, witnesses testified that Stockman used money from wealthy conservative megadonor Richard Uihlein meant to house interns in Washington to spy on an opponent in Texas’ legislature.
The money was also used to pay for a friend’s stint in rehab, according to FBI and IRS agents.
Tera Dahl said she was reimbursed for her travel to help arrange Stockman’s meetings in Egypt, which she said also included multiple other meetings outside the ministry meeting.
Prosecutors say the payment to Dahl came from Uihlein’s donation.
While in Egypt, Stockman met officials Gen. Mohamed El-Assar and Maj. Gen. Mohamed Elkeshky, among others.
Dahl also testified about a letter Stockman apparently drafted after his meeting Egyptian officials, which was meant to solicit two donations from CEMEX worth $15 million each to improve plant security and help the company improve relations with Egypt.
But Dahl testified she wanted nothing to do with Stockman’s request and the meetings with the ministry of defense had nothing to do with Cemex and it wasn’t even mentioned.
In addition, two witnesses said another Uihlein donation of $450,000 was used to cover the cost of a self-published newspaper Stockman used in his failed primary challenge to Sen. John Cornyn.
Kurt Wagner, who ran the mailing service, gave back $214,000 to a Stockman aide, which an IRS investigator said was used to pay for credit card purchases in Egypt and Turkey.
Correction, March 28, 2018, 10:47 a.m. | An earlier version of this story mischaracterized Tera Dahl’s testimony.
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