WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ahead of Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial this week, government watchdog Accountable.US released a new report finding the Trump campaign paid over $6,000 to a business registered to Arizona State Rep. Mark Finchem in mid-December just weeks after Finchem held an unofficial “election fraud conspiracy committee” hearing with Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani promising to use his legislative power to influence the Arizona election result. During the event, Finchem declared he would push for a special legislative session with the goal of overruling Arizona’s popular vote in favor of Biden. The Trump campaign expense was categorized under “Recount: Legal Consulting” even though Finchem is not a practicing lawyer.
Accountable.US called for an investigation given that under Arizona statute, it is considered bribery for a public official to “accept any benefit upon an agreement of understanding that his… action as a public servant or party officer may thereby be “influenced.” Finchem apparently received this payment amidst his attempt to use his legislative power to influence the Arizona election result. The $6,037 payment to Finchem’s personal business amounts to roughly 25% of his annual salary as a legislator.
“There must be a thorough investigation into Representative Finchem’s personal profit and the use of his power as an elected official in the midst of President Trump’s attempt to overturn the will of Arizonans based on lies and wild conspiracy theories,” said Jeremy Funk, spokesman for Accountable.US. “We all saw President Trump’s two-month crusade to try and stay in power, but now we know he was paying at least one state legislator to join the cause, too. Finchem must explain this payment from the Trump campaign and his attempts as a state legislator to try and overturn a free and fair election. This matter must be investigated fully and anyone who broke the law must be held accountable.”
The new report also shows how Finchem directly promoted the “Stop the Steal” rally that led to the deadly Capitol Riot on January 6th, some of his incendiary and baseless claims about voter fraud, and a photo Finchem tweeted from inside the mob that stormed the Capitol. Finchem has been a member of the Oath Keepers, one of the violent and extremist anti-government groups that have been linked to the coup attempt.
Accountable.US reviewed these records as part of its “Subsidizing Sedition” project focused on exposing those who aided and abetted the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021.