Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) says he’s been vindicated.
The Texas conservative’s underdog Senate campaign on Monday published a defiant statement, claiming that Stockman has “grounds to file criminal complaints” against any person or media organization that published his 1977 arrest record and mugshot.
“A Michigan official has removed documents from a state website that erroneously claimed U.S. Congressman Steve Stockman had been convicted of a crime in the 1970s,” Stockman spokesperson Donny Ferguson wrote on the campaign’s website. “Michigan’s 43rd Judicial District Clerk stated Stockman was never convicted of any charge and the documents were supposed to have been destroyed in 1978. Another Michigan official has advised Stockman he has grounds to file criminal complaints against any person or media organization that published the documents.”
Ferguson did not specify the name of the Michigan official who raised the prospect of criminal complaints, and did not reply to follow-up questions from TPM.
Stockman’s mugshot has been bouncing around the internet for weeks. The Texas Tribune last month published the arrest records, which indicate that in 1977 Stockman was arrested and initially charged with felony possession of Valium. The Stockman campaign now says that a district court judge in Michigan ordered in 1978 the matter dismissed and expunged.
Stockman’s campaign had previously filed a libel lawsuit against a super PAC that supports Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), whom Stockman is challenging in the Texas’ Republican primary. The super PAC, Texans for a Conservative Majority, has funded television ads and a website that questions Stockman’s character, in part relying on the same 1977 records. In his statement on Monday, Ferguson wrote that the attorney who runs Texans for a Conservative Majority may also face “repercussions” under Texas law, and that the “Shady Stockman” campaign the super PAC is running is “untrue and illegal.”
On Twitter, Stockman on Monday trumpeted his perceived victory.
Anti-Stockman ads found to be illegal. DC & Texas reporters are hiding this story from you hoping to protect Cornyn. http://t.co/7kb9gVajc7
— Rep. Steve Stockman (@StockmanSenate) March 3, 2014
(Photo Credit: Mugshot via Texas Tribune)