(Headline USA) Republican Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick on Tuesday offered up to $1 million for those who produce evidence of President Donald Trump‘s claims of irregularities in the U.S. presidential election, saying he would pay out rewards for information that leads to voter fraud arrests and convictions.
The money put up by Texas’s second-in-command appeared to be a first among Republican officeholders who back Trump.
A former chief Texas ethics regulator said paying out reward money, which would come from Patrick’s political campaign, could run afoul of federal campaign finance laws.
A Patrick spokeswoman pushed back on that suggestion.
“I support President Trump’s efforts to identify voter fraud in the presidential election and his commitment to making sure that every legal vote is counted and every illegal vote is disqualified,” Patrick said in a statement.
Jim Clancy, former chairman of the Texas Ethics Commission, said handing out large sums of reward money may be improper if it’s being used to help prove voter fraud.
“You could argue that this is an in-kind contribution to the Donald Trump campaign. That’s his problem,” Clancy said.
Patrick spokeswoman Sherry Sylvester said the offer was about voter fraud “regardless of the outcome of the election” and restoring public confidence the electoral process.
Over the weekend, Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, another Trump ally, launched a fundraising campaign to “help us bring it home for the president.”
Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.