Ex-GOP rep blames arrest on 'deep state' conspiracy
© Greg Nash

The former Texas congressman charged with conspiring to violate federal election laws is blaming his arrest on the "deep state," claiming he is being framed by a shadow government.

Former Rep. Steve StockmanStephen (Steve) Ernest StockmanFormer aide sentenced for helping ex-congressman in fraud scheme Former congressman sentenced to 10 years in prison for campaign finance scheme Rising expectations could change North Korea forever MORE (R-Texas) made the comment appearing before a U.S. magistrate judge on Friday after the criminal charges against him were unsealed, the Houston Chronicle reported.

"This is part of a deep state that's continuing to progress," the Chronicle quoted Stockman as saying. He claimed that he was being framed for his opposition to the IRS.

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Stockman is accused of illegally diverting hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to a charitable organization he created. The Texas representative allegedly planned to use donations from his employees to funnel money to himself for personal use.

Stockman served two terms in Congress; once from 1995 to 1997 and later from 2013 to 2015. He lost a bid for the Senate in 2014 to incumbent Sen. John CornynJohn CornynGOP wants commitment that Trump will sign budget deal Hillicon Valley: Trump seeks review of Pentagon cloud-computing contract | FTC weighs updating kids' internet privacy rules | Schumer calls for FaceApp probe | Report says states need more money to secure elections Senators introduce legislation to boost cyber defense training in high school MORE (R-Texas).

The "deep state" conspiracy theory holds that a shadow government of unelected bureaucrats are in control of the government and work behind the scenes to rule the country, to the detriment of President Trump and supportive Republicans. 

White House press secretary Sean Spicer last week alluded to the conspiracy theory, saying may be a network of federal government employees resisting Trump.

“I think there’s no question when you have eight years of one party in office that stays in government [they’re] affiliated with, joined [to] and continue to espouse the agenda of the previous administration,” Spicer answered, referencing former President Obama’s two terms in office.

Stockman was arrested at Bush International Airport in Houston, Texas, on Thursday, where he said he was catching a flight to the United Arab Emirates to help Sunni Muslims, according to the Chronicle.