During an interview with Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade, the recently ejected Rep. George Santos stared vacantly into the camera as Kilmeade read a list of the charges against him.
The congressman, already under federal indictment for these violations and for filing fraudulent fundraising reports since October, was facing another expulsion vote at the time. This scrutiny culminated in Santos becoming the sixth member in history to be expelled from Congress in a 311–114 vote, with 105 Republicans joining most Democrats. Kilmeade directly questioned Santos about the allegations.
“So, I mean, the things that they’re saying you did: you deceived donors providing what they thought was gonna be contributions to your campaign but were in fact payments for your personal use, you reported fictitious loans to political committees to induce donors to give you more money, you used connections to high value donors and other campaigns to obtain additional funds for yourself through fraudulent means. You used campaign funds for your own benefit. Did you know at the time how long this is?”
Santos responded, “So Brian, I haven’t unpacked this and won’t unpack this out of respect to the process that I’m going with the DOJ. For me to go ahead and start talking about this, I go ahead and a) forgo my rights, b) I undermine the process and the due process the DOJ has afforded me unlike the ethics committee. They’ve been gentlemen’s about this, the prosecutors, the judge, everybody has been very gracious and above board, so for me to go out there and start talking about this and unpacking is exactly what my opponents would like me to do to incriminate myself, to hurt my chances on my criminal case. So obviously, I won’t be answering any of those questions today, sir.”
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged Santos with a 23-count indictment, including one count of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, two counts of wire fraud, two counts of making materially false statements to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), and two counts of falsifying records submitted to obstruct the FEC. Additional charges include aggravated identity theft, money laundering, theft of public funds and materially false statement to the House of Representatives.
Santos expressed his difficulty in facing the possibility of removal from Congress, asserting that no one can question his ethics and labeling the attempts to expel him as “hypocrisy at its finest.”
“Unlike some of my colleagues who go on drunken tirades going after their staff, but I’m the one being pinned for all of this nonsense and here I am, about to join a long history of due process of people who committed atrocities, but meanwhile, I have only been accused,” Santos said.
In a related move, Santos filed a resolution last week to expel Democratic New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman from Congress, who pleaded guilty to pulling the fire alarm inside Cannon House Office Building during a House floor vote on Sept. 30.
“Everybody in America knows, if he had been a Republican or member of the general public, he would’ve been indicted on a felony charge of obstructing an official proceeding much like the J6ers in Washington, D.C., today,” Santos remarked.
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