Republican Rep. Trent Franks is being accused of using taxpayer money to pay for personal travel to Colorado for political events.
The Arizona Republican has been in a political fight with a Democratic opponent for the seat that President Donald Trump will ultimately fill.
His campaign is trying to use the $50,000 he received in taxpayer money from the state to travel to an event in the state on Nov. 6, the day of the election, for a speech by then-Vice President Joe Biden, Politico reported Wednesday.
Politico reported that Franks told a Colorado television station he was “just doing it for political reasons” but that the trip was paid for by the state’s Department of Agriculture.
The Washington Post said the Arizona lawmaker was the first member of Congress to receive taxpayer money for personal use, but was among the first to make use of the funds for political purposes.
The Post’s report also detailed an alleged conflict of interest involving a political campaign in 2016 that sought to raise money for a Republican Senate candidate who supported President Donald Trumps election bid.
In 2015, Arizona Republicans and Democrats spent $2.7 million to run a campaign to support former U.S. Rep. Steve King.
In 2016, Franks received $5,000 from a state-run group to speak at a conference hosted by a political action committee aligned with King’s campaign.
The Associated Press reported in 2016 the trip included a stop at a hotel that was part of a $40,000 conference.
The AP also reported that the Arizona senator’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the Politico report.