Former U.S. Congressman Steve Stockman stood before a federal judge in a mostly empty Houston courtroom Friday and confirmed he wants a jury to decide if he diverted nearly $1.25 million in charitable donations intended for conservative organizations.
Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal first determined that he had not entered into plea negotiations with federal prosecutors, and then asked, “Mr. Stockman, I assume you want to go to trial?”
“Yes, your honor,” he replied.
Stockman, whose trial is now set for March 19, has been free on $25,000 unsecured bond. The judge made a point to insist that he be present in court for the entire proceeding. He assured her he would.
Defense attorney Sean Buckley said his client is confident and he’s ready to address and refute the allegations.
“As they always say, there are two sides to every story and there are most certainly two sides to this one,” Buckley said.
Buckley said he plans to argue that the two aides pleaded guilty to better their own situations, not because they or Stockman are guilty or did anything wrong.
See here for some background. The aides in question are Jason Posey and Thomas Dodd, both of whom have already taken pleas. Stockman’s trial was supposed to have started in January, after having been delayed from June of last year. This time it looks like it may finally get going. I can’t wait.