Former President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign reportedly funneled thousands of dollars to Arizona Rep. Mark Finchem (R) while the lawmaker pushed for the Legislature to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the state.
Citing the campaign’s latest financial disclosure, AZ Central reported that the Trump team made a $6,037 payment on Dec. 18 to “Mrk Finchem PLLC” and the address provided for the company is the lawmaker’s home. The campaign labeled the expense as “recount: legal consulting.”
According to the news outlet, Finchem didn’t disclose the payment. he responded to the report by claiming the payment was a reimbursement “for crowd control and security costs” at a meeting he convened at a downtown Phoenix hotel on Nov. 30 with the president’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, several other Republican legislators and various people alleging wrongdoing during the election.
Lawmakers are required to disclose each business in which they have a position or a fiduciary relationship. The lawmaker did not address why the company is not listed on his most recent financial disclosure, which covered all of 2020.
Finchem was the most outspoken Arizona legislator as some Republican lawmakers pushed to intervene in the state’s election and claim Arizona’s 11 electoral votes for Trump.
Last year, he called for the Legislature to convene and appoint presidential electors of its choosing. Legislative leaders rejected the idea and denied approval for him to convene a hearing on the election, leading to the meeting with Giuliani, at which Finchem was center stage.
The progressive watchdog group Accountable.Us called for an explanation.
“We all saw President Trump’s two-month crusade to try and stay in power, but now we know he was paying state legislators to join the cause, too. Mark Finchem must explain this payment from the Trump campaign and how it influenced his official work as a legislator to try and overturn a free and fair election,” the group said in a statement, according to AZ Central.