Politics

Ex-Stockman Staffer Describes ‘Horrific’ Working Conditions

‘They don’t even know how to do “corruption,”’ subject of botched spying operation says

Former Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, is currently facing a federal corruption trial. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll file photo)

A former fundraising director described “horrific” working conditions for Washington interns for former Rep. Steve Stockman as the second week of the former Texas congressman’s corruption trial started Monday.

Sean McMahon quit his job as Stockman’s fundraising director and returned his salary after four days, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Stockman is on trial for using donations meant for charity to pay for campaign and personal expenses without paying taxes.

McMahon said that a crew of interns had to make as many as 2,000 fundraising phone calls a day and worked at a lobbying firm rather than in Stockman’s office.

McMahon also said the students had to scramble find housing options despite Stockman soliciting donations to create a housing program for young conservative interns.

“The situation with interns is horrific,” McMahon wrote in an email introduced into evidence. “Every single one of them believes they are having a normal ‘Hill internship.’ This is not the case.”

Last week, conservative donor Richard Uihlien described giving $350,000 to Stockman’s proposed housing project, but an FBI special agent said within a week the money was used to pay campaign debt and credit card bills.

Witnesses also said that $50,000 of money meant for charity went to an attempt to spy on other Republicans in Austin.

Shaughn Adeleye testified on Thursday that he was planted in the office of state Rep. James White, who Stockman saw as a possible primary challenger, as a way to show he was engaged in “fraud and abuse,” the Texas Tribune reported.

White told the Tribune the venture was more of an exercise of incompetence.

“Let me tell you what’s stupid about that — all they had to do was just go run the open records request and get my office budget, right? They don’t even know how to do ‘corruption,’” he said.

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