Sunday, June 23, 2024

Santos Rips ‘Witch Hunt’ Charges, Calls Out Biden Family

'I’m going to fight the witch hunt. I’m going to take care of clearing my name and I look forward to doing that...'

(Luis CornelioHeadline USA) Embattled Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., is pushing back against calls for his resignation amid 13 federal indictments on charges including unemployment benefits, embezzling campaign funds and lying on congressional finance disclosure records.  

The 34-year-old freshman lawmaker pleaded not guilty and dubbed the federal charges as a “witch hunt,” claiming he will not step down despite numerous demands from bipartisan lawmakers that he quits from office.

“You have Joe Biden’s entire family receiving deposits from—nine family members receiving money from foreign destinations into their bank accounts. It’s been years of exposure,” Santos said, later adding that the charges were a political hit job.

“I’m going to fight,” the congressman continued. “I’m going to fight my battle. I’m going to deliver. I’m going to fight the witch hunt. I’m going to take care of clearing my name and I look forward to doing that.”

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., partially defended Santos, issuing a careful statement about the indictment. 

“As you know, with George Santos, I did not put him on any committees,” McCarthy said, later pointing out leftist Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., who faced a criminal indictment on conspiracy, bribery and fraud in 2015. Menendez, who was cleared after the jury deadlocked and prosecutors refused to re-try, is under federal investigation once again.

Echoing McCarthy’s remarks, “In regard to George Santos, he was already removed from all of his committees,” House Majority Leader Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., said during a Wednesday press conference. “There is a legal process. The charges just came out, we just saw some of them this morning. And so, in America, there is a presumption of innocence, but they’re serious charges. He’s going to have to go through the legal process.” 

House GOP Conference chair Elise Stefanik, R.N.Y, who endorsed Santos’s congressional campaign, said there are rules for members of Congress to voluntarily resign.

“Unfortunately, this is not the first time a member of Congress from either party has been indicted,” Stefanik said. “There are a set of rules and as the majority leader stated, [Santos] voluntarily had stepped down from his committees.

Santos could face 20 years in prison for the crimes according to a statement from the federal prosecutor.

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