Tag: george santos
George Santos

GOP Leaders Knew Santos Was A Fraud In 2021

Despite lying repeatedly about his history during his 2022 campaign — and despite being arrested on federal criminal charges — Rep. George Santos (R-NY) remains in Congress. Many House Republicans are reluctant to criticize Santos, as they know that Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has only a small single-digit majority and needs all the GOP votes he can get.

Headlines describing Santos' lies grew worse and worse in 2023. But according to an early September report by CBS News, some GOP insiders knew about the lies well before his election victory.

CBS' News' Scott McFarlane reports that in late 2021, an in-depth GOP report was designed to "dig into his vulnerabilities."

McFarlane explains, "The report raised now-familiar doubts about a college degree Santos says he earned, his marriage to a woman despite being openly gay, and his alleges ties to companies that have been accused of fraud and scamming customers."

According to McFarlane, CBS News has learned that a "group of GOP campaign strategists in Washington were aware of the conclusions while Santos was running for office."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

George Santos

Santos Staffer Indicted On Wire Fraud And Identity Theft Charges

A paid fundraising staffer for New York Republican Rep. George Santos‘ election campaigns who was accused of impersonating a top aide to now-Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy was indicted on Wednesday on federal charges in New York.

“The fundraiser, Samuel Miele, was charged with four counts of wire fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft in the indictment issued in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn,” CNBC reports. “Miele was charged with four counts of wire fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft in the indictment.”

“CNBC reported in January that Miele had made calls and sent emails to would-be donors while claiming to be Dan Meyer, McCarthy’s chief of staff, during the 2020 and 2022 election cycles, when Miele was raising funds for Santos’ House campaigns those years.”

In May, Santos was indicted on 13 federal felony charges, including fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds, and lying to Congress. He remains a sitting member of Congress.

As NCRM reported in January, questions had been swirling after reports suggested McCarthy may have known about the false statements on Santos’ résumé, and that the Santos campaign fundraising staffer allegedly had lied to wealthy donors as he impersonated McCarthy’s chief of staff in fundraising telephone calls and emails – all before the election – while McCarthy said nothing.

McCarthy not only appeared to know about the alleged impersonation of his top aide far before news broke of the possibly unlawful act in January, but when confronted appeared to run defense for Santos.

In December, The Washington Times, citing “a GOP insider,” had reported that McCarthy, or at least his aides, knew as far back as August 2021 of the alleged impersonation.

“McCarthy’s aides first learned of the Santos staffer’s behavior in August 2021 when a suspicious donor flagged as ‘unusual’ the contact from Mr. McCarthy’s congressional office.”

In January, when asked by reporters about the possibly illegal impersonation, McCarthy appeared to downplay the issue.

“You know, I didn’t know about that, it happened. They corrected but I was not notified about that until a later date,” McCarthy insisted. “I didn’t know about it until a later date though, unfortunately.”

Rather than directing reporters’ questions to Santos’ office, he offered remarks that appeared to give cover to Santos.

CNN’s Manu Raju reported at the time, “Asked if he had concerns before the election about Santos, McCarthy said: ‘My staff had concerns when he had a staff member impersonate my chief of staff and that individual was let go when Mr. Santos found out about it.’”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

George Santos

McCarthy Still Protecting Santos As Democrats Prepare Censure Resolution

A group of Democratic House members announced on Monday that they plan to introduce a resolution to formally censure Rep. George Santos, the indicted New York Republican who has been caught in a wide array of lies about his upbringing, resume, and family and faces multiple charges of money laundering and fraud.

The censure resolution, the strictest punishment Congress can hand down aside from expulsion, is being led by Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY).

“For too long, House Republicans, under the leadership of Speaker [Kevin] McCarthy, have been shielding and protecting Rep. Santos from any shred of accountability,” Torres said in the announcement.

Torres said he is filing the resolution because the House Ethics Committee has yet to release its report on Santos, after House Republicans referred an expulsion resolution against Santos to the the committee in May. Rep. Nick LaLota, one of the New York Republicans who wants Santos to resign, said at the time they expected the House Ethics Committee to issue a report a couple of months later.

“We expect a result within 60 days and for the terrible liar to be gone, by resignation or expulsion, before August recess,” said LaLota, who has said he thinks Santos should resign but voted against expelling him from Congress.

The Ethics Committee has not issued a report.

“It has now been 60 days and Rep. Santos continues to defraud the people of his district and disgrace our institution. I invite all those who have condemned his repeated lies and deception or called on Rep. Santos to resign to join House Democrats in voting to support my resolution to formally censure him and to stop treating him as untouchable,” Torres said.

McCarthy said in May that he hoped the Ethics Committee would move quickly. He said on Monday in response to the censure resolution that Democrats should allow the Ethics Committee to carry out its process.

“They have brought this up numerous times. This is their entire agenda,” McCarthy told reporters on Monday, according to CBS News. “We don’t get involved within the Ethics Committee. These are individuals who will do their job and get their work done and follow through on whatever they need to find.”

Despite his criticism of efforts to censure and expel an indicted member of Congress, he blessed Republicans’ censure of Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff for investigating former President Donald Trump.

McCarthy said Schiff deserved to be censured because, he claimed, Schiff had lied to the American public during Congress’ investigation of Trump’s ties to Russia about whether he knew the whistleblower whose alleged evidence led to the first Trump impeachment inquiry. The Washington Post Fact Checker did not find any evidence of a lie, but that hasn’t stopped accusations from Republicans.

“Adam Schiff abused his position as Chair of Intel to lie and lead America through a national nightmare with the fake Russia collusion narrative,” McCarthy tweeted ahead of Republicans’ successful censure vote against Schiff. “As Speaker, I removed him from the Intel Committee, and now the full House will vote to censure him and open an ethics investigation.”

Santos, however, has been caught lying.

The censure resolution Torres filed along with fellow Democratic New York Rep. Daniel Goldman and Democratic California Rep. Ted Lieu lists 11 of those lies, including that Santos “deliberately misrepresented that his grandparents survived the Holocaust”; “falsely claimed that his mother died during the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001 “; “deliberately misrepresented that 4 of his employees were killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting”; and “falsely claimed that he helped produce the Broadway musical ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark.'”.

Because Democrats are in the minority in the House, they do not control what legislation makes it to the floor. However, any member can force a vote on a censure resolution over the House majority’s objections.

“Republican leadership and the six New York Republicans who profess to want George Santos out of Congress continue to embrace an admitted liar and an indicted fraudster in the halls of Congress,” Goldman said in a news release announcing his co-sponsorship of the censure resolution.

Goldman continued: “Their refusal to hold George Santos accountable is an insult not only to this institution but to the people of NY-03. Speaker McCarthy said we would get a report from the Ethics Committee today — yet another false promise designed to protect Santos. I am proud to stand with my Democratic colleagues in doing what Republican leadership refuses to do – fight for George Santos’ constituents and censure him for his repeated lies and deception.”

Reprinted with permission from American Independent.

George Santos

House Ethics Committee Widens Probe Into Alleged Santos Offenses

An investigation into United States Representative George Santos (R-NY), led by the House Ethics Committee, will expand to address "allegations that he fraudulently obtained unemployment insurance benefits," which are already included in his recent federal indictment charges,The Washington Post reports.

After the right-wing congressman "was released on a $500,000 bond," following his New York arrest on 13 federal charges last month, Rolling Stone reports "the court revealed on Thursday Santos' father, Gercino dos Santos, and aunt his aunt, Elma Preven, were the two individuals who helped bail him out."

Per Rolling Stone, in March, the ethics committee began its probe into "whether Representative George Santos may have: engaged in unlawful activity with respect to his 2022 congressional campaign; failed to properly disclose required information on statements filed with the House; violated federal conflict of interest laws in connection with his role in a firm providing fiduciary services; and/or engaged in sexual misconduct towards an individual seeking employment in his congressional office."

Now, the Post reports, the ethics panel's probe will also encompass "the federal charges, which allege that he defrauded his donors, used their money for his personal benefit and wrongfully claimed unemployment benefits.

The Post also notes:

While the ethics committee traditionally paused investigations into lawmakers charged with federal crimes so as not to interfere with the work of the Justice Department, members had previously signaled that they would continue with their inquiry into Santos. The committee's latest statement acknowledged 'the risks associated with dual investigations,' noting that they're 'in communication with the Department of Justice to mitigate the potential risks while still meeting the Committee's obligations to safeguard the integrity of the House.'

Following the GOP lawmaker's May federal indictment, United States Attorney Breon Peace said, "This indictment seeks to hold Santos accountable for various alleged fraudulent schemes and brazen misrepresentations," adding, "Taken together, the allegations in the indictment charge Santos with relying on repeated dishonesty and deception to ascend to the halls of Congress and enrich himself. He used political contributions to line his pockets, unlawfully applied for unemployment benefits that should have gone to New Yorkers who had lost their jobs due to the pandemic, and lied to the House of Representatives. My Office and our law enforcement partners will continue to aggressively root out corruption and self-dealing from our community’s public institutions and hold public officials accountable to the constituents who elected them."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.