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‘They Said They Wanted This’: DeSantis on Defense Heads to Hannity Over Sending Asylum Seekers to Martha’s Vineyard

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Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis was forced to go on Fox News’ “Hannity” Monday night to defend his decision to send 50 asylum seekers from Venezuela who were reportedly falsely enticed to board planes in Texas with promises of food, cash, housing, education and jobs assistance and a trip to Boston, while actually being sent to Martha’s Vineyard.

“They said they wanted this,” the Florida governor now under investigation by a Texas sheriff and possibly facing a federal investigation told Sean Hannity, “they said they were a sanctuary jurisdiction,” he claimed, Florida Politics reports.

Massachusetts is not a sanctuary state, and has only eight sanctuary cities. Martha’s Vineyard is not one of them. Sanctuary cities promise to not cooperate with federal immigration authorities, meaning they will not report immigrants who are in the country unlawfully – which these asylum seekers were not.

READ MORE: ‘Big Story’: DeSantis Transporting Asylum Seekers to Martha’s Vineyard Was ‘Clearly Not a State Action’ Journalist Says

These 50 or so immigrants were seeking asylum, and are therefore in the country legally. They reportedly have followed procedures to apply for asylum, so were in no risk of being deported, and therefore did not need to go to a “sanctuary jurisdiction.”

“Millions of people since Biden’s been President illegally coming across the southern border,” DeSantis told Hannity. “Do they freak out about that? No. You had migrants die in the Rio Grande. You had 50 die in Texas in a trailer because they were being neglected. Was there a freak out about that?”

There was nationwide anger about the 53 – not 50 – people found dead in a locked tractor trailer last year. There were national headline stories for days. One month later two men were charged “on counts of transporting and conspiring to transport immigrants illegally resulting in death; and conspiring to transport immigrants illegally resulting in serious injury,” The Washington Post reported in July of last year.

“It’s only when fifty get put into Martha’s Vineyard,” DeSantis continued, speaking of human beings as objects, “which wasn’t saying they didn’t want this. They said they wanted this, they said they were a sanctuary jurisdiction.”

READ MORE: Biden Approval Soars as Trump’s Sinks

Florida Politics reports DeSantis described the migrants as “basically destitute” and “put in a situation where they could have succeeded” by being flown to Massachusetts.

“Not only did they not welcome them, they deported [sic] them the next day with the National Guard,” DeSantis falsely claimed. Governor Charlie Baker, a Republican, called in the National Guard to assist the asylum seekers because Edgartown, a town of just over 5100 people, did not have the resources to properly care for their new guests.

One of the immigrants, CNN reported, had two gold teeth pulled out by a violent drug trafficking cartel when “he told them he could not make the extortion payment.”

About 30 chose voluntarily to be transported to a National Guard facility. Gov. Baker stressed the immigrants were given the choice to stay or go.

DeSantis also told Hannity all the immigrants had “signed consent forms to go,.” He claimed the flights were “clearly voluntary and all the other nonsense you’re hearing is just not true.”

Whether or not they signed consent forms is unproven. Also in question would be was there clear disclosure, did they know what they were signing?

READ MORE: Brochure Claims Asylum Seekers DeSantis Sent to Martha’s Vineyard Could Receive ‘8 Months Cash Assistance’: Report

Fred Wellman of the On Democracy podcast tweeted a few questions to Gov. DeSantis: “Who paid the ‘vendor’? Who paid for the videographer? Why didn’t you alert Massachusetts authorities before giving the story to Fox News? Why did you need to go to Texas if Florida is ‘overrun” with migrants?’

Hannity told DeSantis that the 50 immigrants “were fed, they were showered, they were offered haircuts and any other services they were needed, correct?”

The governor claimed they all received a “packet” with a “map of Massachusetts” and telephone numbers for service agencies.

But Popular Information’s Judd Legum, who published the brochure the immigrants were given to entice them onto the plane, says DeSantis officials held a “hastily scheduled press call with sympathetic media outlets” on Monday, attacking his reporting.

Legum also says the brochure contained information “from a Mass[achusetts] website, but it’s a website describing benefits for A DIFFERENT CLASS OF PEOPLE.”

“DeSantis and his team don’t understand the difference between refugees (who are eligible for resettlement benefits) & asylum applicants (who are not).”

DeSantis also claimed on “Hannity” that Martha’s Vineyard “could have absorbed these people without a problem.” That too is false. Martha’s Vineyard is a seasonal resort island that is home for a month or two to the wealthy, but off-season  it’s a very different story.

“The median income on Martha’s Vineyard is $7K BELOW the state median,” Massachusetts state Rep. Dylan Fernandes said over the weekend in defense of the area. “The majority of year-round residents are diverse working class people who make these communities run.”

Watch Gov. DeSantis below or at this link.

 

 

 

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Santos Campaign Can No Longer Raise or Spend Money After Treasurer Officially Calls It Quits: NYT

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Enmeshed in a web of deceit and possibly under federal criminal investigation, U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) is now apparently unable to lawfully spend money or accept donations via his political campaign, which reportedly now may also be in violation of FEC rules.

On Tuesday the embattled freshman Republican announced he was temporarily stepping down from his committee assignments, reportedly after a conversation with Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Before the end of the day his campaign treasurer filed official paperwork notifying the Federal Election Commission she had resigned.

“Nancy Marks’s resignation effectively leaves the Santos campaign unable to raise or spend money and in seeming violation of federal rules,” The New York Times reports, calling her his “longtime campaign treasurer and trusted aide.”

“Mr. Santos’s financial operations, which are the subject of several complaints filed with the F.E.C. and are being investigated by local, state and federal law enforcement,” The Times adds. “It also leaves the Santos campaign in disarray, effectively rendering it unable to raise or spend money and placing it in seeming violation of F.E.C. rules.”

READ MORE: Another SCOTUS Scandal: Chief Justice’s Spouse Makes Millions Placing Attorneys at Top Law Firms That Argue Before the Court

In fact, FEC rules state: “If a committee’s treasurer is absent, the committee cannot make expenditures or accept contributions unless it has designated an assistant treasurer or designated agent on the committee’s Statement of Organization.”

The resignation comes after last week’s stunning report revealing that Santos, or his campaign, amended FEC filings to indicate the $700,000 he had claimed to have personally loaned his campaign had not actually come from his personal funds.

Unlike political candidates, campaign treasurers are held to an actual standard of truth, and can be personally – and legally – liable if they report false information.

FEC rules also state, “the treasurer can be named and found liable in his or her personal capacity if he or she knowingly and willfully violates the Act, recklessly fails to fulfill duties imposed by the law, or intentionally deprives himself or herself of the operative facts giving rise to the violation.”

READ MORE: Stefanik Was Once ‘Laser Focused on Electing Santos’ – Now She Blames Voters for Electing Him as She Backs Away

Santos may find it difficult to hire a new treasurer: “Even when an enforcement action alleges violations that occurred during the term of a previous treasurer, the Commission usually names the current treasurer as a respondent in the action.”

The Times adds, “The lack of clarity over who, if anyone, is operating as Mr. Santos’s treasurer has already caused confusion. On Tuesday, a joint fund-raising committee associated with Mr. Santos filed paperwork to end its operations. Ms. Marks’s signature was on the paperwork, even though she had resigned as the committee’s treasurer the week before.”

Marks’ resignation also comes after someone affiliated with the Santos campaign falsely listed a well-known Republican treasurer on the official FEC forms as the treasurer for his campaign. As one expert put it, that’s a “big no-no,” and “completely illegal.”

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‘Can Be Used Against You’: Trump Took Big Risk Pleading the Fifth 400 Times in Deposition Says Legal Expert

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A newly released video shows Donald Trump pleading the Fifth Amendment hundreds of times in a deposition, and a legal expert explained how that could be used against him in court.

The former president was finally hauled in to testify last year in the $25 million fraud lawsuit filed against the Trump Organization by New York attorney Letitia James, and he exercised his constitutional right against self-incrimination nearly 450 times — but MSNBC legal analyst Andrew Weissmann said the move carried potential risk in a civil case.

“I agree with him on the point of taking the Fifth,” Weissmann said. “It’s important to remember everyone has a right to the Fifth if a truthful answer would tend to incriminate you. In a civil case, it can be used against you, unlike in a criminal case.”

“One other thing I would disagree is when he is saying there’s this witch hunt, he left out jurors,” Weissmann added. “The Trump Organizations went to trial, they had their day in court. They could present all of their evidence, [and] 12 jurors, that’s everyday citizens, found beyond a reasonable doubt that there was a multi-year tax conspiracy that his organizations were involved in, and there was evidence he knew about it as would make sense. That’s one more reason for him to be asserting the Fifth Amendment.”

Watch video below or at this link.

Image via Shutterstock

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Stefanik Was Once ‘Laser Focused on Electing Santos’ – Now She Blames Voters for Electing Him as She Backs Away

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One of the most powerful Republicans in the House of Representatives, U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), used her reputation and geographic proximity to help get fellow New York Republican George Santos elected to Congress. But now, as her donors and his express anger at being misled and lied to, and ahead of what appears to be a likely federal investigation and possible prosecution against the freshman GOP lawmaker, Stefanik is blaming voters for electing him to Congress: “Ultimately voters make this decision,” she said Tuesday.

Stefanik is the Chair of the House Republican Conference, a role she was first elected to when the now former Congresswoman, Liz Cheney, was thrown out of GOP leadership for telling the truth about the January 6 insurrection and Donald Trump. Stefanik was re-elected to her role after the November election.

Amid Santos announcing on Tuesday he is temporarily recusing himself from the two committees he was appointed to, Stefanik was asked if she regretted supporting his candidacy.

Indeed, one of the top reasons Santos was elected was Stefanik’s endorsement – and all the donor money that came with it.

READ MORE: 2024 Fundraising Fail: Trump Took in Less Money After Declaring Run for President Than Before

“Stefanik’s team was laser focused on electing Santos to Congress – more than just about any other race in the country,” a senior Republican strategist involved in campaigns before the midterms told CNN. “Another donor, who attended a fundraising luncheon with Stefanik and Santos, confirmed to CNN through a representative that ‘he donated to George Santos because of Elise Stefanik’s endorsement.'”

It wasn’t just her endorsements. It appears Stefanik took great interest in getting Santos elected. CNN also reported that a source “said that a top political aide for Stefanik was involved in campaigning for Santos. Multiple sources told CNN that aide was closely advising Santos’ campaign and involved in hiring people.”

Stefanik’s spokesperson denied the allegations.

In July, Santos tweeted that Stefanik “has been one of my strongest backers and closest friends. I fully stand with her vote today as she stood up for civil rights. I look forward to serving alongside her when I’m elected to Congress in November.”

In fact, this was the banner atop Santos’ Twitter account for a very long time, up until recently:

Here is Stefanik tweeting her “major announcement” – her endorsement of Santos – on August 11, 2001, more than a year before Election Day.

READ MORE: ‘Ran a Bribery Center Blocks From the White House’: Comer Mocked for Claiming No Evidence of Trump Influence Peddling

“Excited to endorse my friend and fellow America First conservative George Santos for Congress in #NY03. @Santos4Congress will take on NYC liberal elites and bring a new generation of GOP leadership to NY and America. He has my full support!”

And in May of last year: “WOW! Great lunch event for @Santos4Congress! We raised over $100,000 to help George FLIP #NY03 George has my complete and total endorsement and come November, New Yorkers will send George to Congress! #SaveNewYork #SaveAmerica”

She literally told voters that electing George Santos to Congress will “Save New York” and “Save America.”

On Tuesday, Stefanik told voters something very different: it’s their fault they voted for him, she said, taking no responsibility for her endorsements.

“Like all of my colleagues, particularly in New York State, I supported George Santos as the nominee, and the people of his district voted to elect him,” she told reporters – not once mentioning there was no Republican primary and Santos automatically became the Republican party’s nominee.

READ MORE: Listen: Stefanik-Endorsed GOP Candidate Praised ‘Inspirational’ Adolf Hitler as ‘The Kind of Leader We Need Today’

“Ultimately voters make this decision about who they elect to Congress,” Stefanik declared, wholly removing herself, her endorsements, and any possible assistance she or her campaign may have given to Santos or his campaign.

See the tweets and video above or at this link.

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