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First Out Gay Republican to Win a US House Seat Appears to Have a Fraudulent Résumé: NYT



George Santos, the first out gay non-incumbent Republican to win a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, calls himself the “full embodiment of the American dream,” but he appears to have a fraudulent résumé. The New York Times‘ Monday morning bombshell, however, includes some facts that have been previously reported, including in a press release published by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) in August, well before Election Day, that apparently was largely ignored.

Santos, endorsed by House GOP Caucus Chair, Rep. Elise Stefanik, also of New York, is a far-right MAGA Republican who will be sworn into office next month after winning a pivotal race for an open congressional seat.

According to the Times’ investigation,  Santos has made the following claims, none of which the paper of record could verify.

Santos, who defeated his Democratic rival who is also gay, claims four of his co-workers were killed during the horrific Pulse nightclub mass shooting terror attack. The Times reports its “review of news coverage and obituaries found that none of the 49 victims appear to have worked at the various firms named in his biography.”

NEW: Gay Republican Who Allegedly Lied About Much of His Background Responds to NY Times Bombshell by Blaming ‘The Left’

Santos claims he worked for both Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, but both Wall Street firms “told The Times they had no record of his ever working there.”

Santos claims he graduated from Baruch College in 2010, but officials “could find no record of anyone matching his name and date of birth graduating that year.” He also claims, on the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) website (archived), that he attended New York University, but “an N.Y.U. spokesman found no attendance records matching his name and birth date.”

The Times reports Santos even claimed he founded “an animal rescue charity that saved more than 2,500 dogs and cats,” but there is “little evidence that his animal rescue group, Friends of Pets United, was, as Mr. Santos claimed, a tax-exempt organization: The Internal Revenue Service could locate no record of a registered charity with that name.” Santos “cited the group as proof of a history of philanthropic work.”

The animal rescue group held one fundraiser, but “the event’s beneficiary, who asked for anonymity for fear of retribution, said that she never received any of the funds, with Mr. Santos only offering repeated excuses for not forwarding the money.”

Santos has a history of facing evictions for more that $12,000 in unpaid rent for two apartments between 2015 and 2017, but in 2021 he tweeted from a different perspective.

“Will we landlords ever be able to take back possession of our property? My family and I nearing a 1 year anniversary of not receiving rent on 13 properties!!! The state is collecting their tax, yet we get 0 help from the government. We worked hard to acquire these assets,” he claimed. “Now it almost feels like we are being punished. I hope that the my senate can see how much harm they are causing us. #landlordrights #EqualRights

READ MORE: Stefanik-Endorsed Candidate Called Black People ‘Dumb and Hungry,’ Said Trump Sexual Assault Accuser ‘Probably Enjoyed’ It

Santos also worked for Harbor City Capital, a Florida-based investment company that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against, “accusing the company and its founder of running a $17 million Ponzi scheme.” Santos was not named in the lawsuit.

That’s just part of the Times’ extensive reporting, reporting that could have been published before the election by the New York-based newspaper.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in August, months before the November election, warned New York voters about Santos.

While the DCCC focused on Santos’ more recent activities, it did report on what it called his “extreme views,” “shady personal finances and ponzi scheme ties,” and his alleged charity.

“Santos failed to file a Personal Financial Disclosure (PFD) for 2021 or 2022 – something he knows is required of a congressional candidate. It begs the question: what is Santos hiding?” the DCCC asked. “Santos failed to disclose any assets or money in his bank accounts on his 2020 PFD, yet loaned his campaign more than $80,000, and has continued to self-fund his 2022 campaign – including a self loan of half a million dollars in the first quarter of 2022.”

“On top of his shady personal finances and ponzi scheme ties,” the DCCC claimed, “Santos claimed he founded and ran a nonprofit animal rescue operation called Friends Of Pets United, but no such organization was found in the IRS’ database.”

The DCCC also highlighted Santos’ views on the January 6, 2021 insurrection.

“While Americans watched in horror as far-right extremists – inspired by the lie that Donald Trump won the 2020 election –  stormed the Capitol, issued death threats to elected officials, and injured more than 140 police officers in a deadly riot, George Santos praised the rioters. Santos, who has spread debunked lies about ‘rampant fraud’ in the 2020 presidential election, was at the Stop the Steal Rally on January 6th, and even claimed it ‘was the most amazing crowd and the President was at his full awesomeness that day.'”

It also warned that Santos is extremely anti-choice, and would support criminalizing abortion.

“Not only has Santos prided himself as being ‘unapologetically’ anti-choice, he has also admitted that he ‘would be in favor of’ criminalizing doctors who performed abortions, and that he believed rape victims needed to have ‘proven police documentation’ in order to receive an abortion.”

It wasn’t only the DCCC that warned voters about Santos.

READ MORE: Texas GOP Rep. Hires Christian Nationalist Who Wants to Execute Drag Show Attendees

In April, The Daily Beast reported Santos “served as regional director of accused scam firm Harbor City Capital, which allegedly misappropriated millions.”

The Beast, using his full name, Devolder-Santos, called him a “young, gay Republican born in New York City to Brazilian immigrants, congressional candidate,” saying he “has embraced a public image as a ‘walking, living, breathing contradiction.'”

“But the would-be successor to Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-New York) seems less eager to share another detail of his personal story: for all his rants against ‘the swamp,’ Devolder-Santos served as a director of an investment firm authorities say bilked millions of dollars from its customers.”

The Daily Beast also reported Santos has a company incorporated in Florida, “one of six stakeholders in Red Strategies USA, another firm founded in the Sunshine State that same month. Five of the six companies involved in Red Strategies belong to former Harbor City employees, including the ex-CFO; the last belongs to Devolder-Santos’s campaign treasurer.”

“Florida state records show Red Strategies as an active concern, and Federal Election Commission disclosures reveal the firm continued to receive payments from Tina Forte—a QAnon-friendly challenger to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—through the end of December 2021.”

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‘On Standby’: Experts Say Manhattan Hush Money Grand Jury Delay ‘Not All That Surprising’



In a last-minute surprise move the grand jury examining the Manhattan District Attorney’s hush money case against Donald Trump was called off after being told to show up Wednesday afternoon, leaving some to wonder why. Many anticipated jurors would be voting on a possible indictment of the ex-president, one he wrongly claimed would come on Tuesday.

“The grand jury has been told to stay home today. They’re on standby for tomorrow,” an unnamed senior law-enforcement official said, Politico reports. A spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg told Politico, “We can’t confirm or comment on Grand Jury matters.”

Meanwhile, CNN’s Paula Reid reports, “Sources tell CNN that prosecutors have been in touch with an attorney for at least one witness, and they signal that they’re leaving the door open for that witness to potentially come back to give additional testimony.”

“One of the big questions right now is whether this grand jury has actually completed its investigation or whether they will need to hear from additional witnesses.”

READ MORE: Jim Jordan’s Attack on Manhattan DA Will ‘Backfire’ and Allow Democrats to Expose Coordination With Trump: Columnist

Reid says it’s also possible prosecutors are “taking a moment to really consider the historic weight of indicating a former U.S. president.”

Experts are offering insight on the delay, with some pointing to tying up “loose ends,” others suggesting security concerns, and others say delays like this are to be expected.

Top national security attorney Brad Moss commented on Reid’s CNN report, saying: “Interesting. Makes sense.”

Overnight, former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance wrote, “Wherever the truth lies about what’s going on in Manhattan, that timeline suggests there may not be an indictment tomorrow or even this week.” After news that the grand jury would not meet Wednesday broke, she pointed to that remark and wrote: “This now looks like it will be the case.”

That echoes a little noticed Fox News report from Monday that indicated any possible indictment would not come before next week.

READ MORE: Trump Calls for Congress to Investigate NY AG After Judge Refuses to Delay $250 Million Fraud Trial Against Ex-President

A law enforcement “source said law enforcement does not expect the former president to be arraigned until next week as the Manhattan grand jury – which has been meeting secretly to hear evidence for weeks – has another witness on Wednesday. A virtual option was apparently ruled out as the DA is opposed to it.”

Could security be the reason for the delay? On Tuesday, award-winning reporter Carol Leonnig said law enforcement agencies are investigating “chilling” threats, including against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg

“I have received copies and screenshots and internal documents and emails flagging concerns about specific protests, investigations into specific online threats that have been made that are not yet determined to be ‘credible and likely to occur’ but have been chilling nonetheless in terms of the threats that have been made about killing certain people,” said Leonnig, a Pulitzer-Prize winning author, on MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House.”

Former New York prosecutor Tristan Snell, who successfully helped prosecute the New York Attorney General’s case against Trump University, pointed to security measures as a possible reason for the delay.

“Most likely reason: all the law enforcement coordination and security logistics that are being worked out, including with NYPD and Secret Service,” Snell offered. “They don’t want to indict and then have a long gap between indictment and arrest/arraignment.”

He also noted, “part of the security is to ensure the GRAND JURORS themselves — 23 regular New Yorkers, doing their civic duty — are protected from a defendant who incites violence.”

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti said: “Based on what we know publicly, there are plenty of loose ends that prosecutors may need to tie up, so delay is not all that surprising.”

Watch the CNN video above or at this link.


Image: Evan El-Amin / Shutterstock

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Jim Jordan’s Attack on Manhattan DA Will ‘Backfire’ and Allow Democrats to Expose Coordination With Trump: Columnist



Republican House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan‘s unprecedented attack on Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg this week will “backfire” on the GOP, according to a Washington Post columnist who spoke with House Democrats.

Chairman Jordan, who has no constitutional oversight authority over an elected county district attorney, demanded Bragg hand over documents and communications and testify before Congress about his criminal investigation into Donald Trump’s hush money payoffs and business practices. Some believe an indictment could come as early as Wednesday afternoon.

“If Jim Jordan and MAGA Republicans attack the Manhattan DA’s potential indictment of Trump, Democrats will use the proceedings to draw attention to coordination between House Republicans and Trump’s legal team, Dems tell me,” The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent said Wednesday via Twitter. “This will backfire on the GOP.”

Sargent adds House Oversight Committee Ranking Member Jamie Raskin told him: “This is an extreme move to use the resources of Congress to interfere with a criminal investigation at the state and local level.” Raskin likened “GOP ‘political culture’ to ‘authoritarian dictatorships.'”

READ MORE: ‘Chilling’: Law Enforcement ‘Seriously’ Investigating Threats Ahead of Possible Trump Indictment Says Top WaPo Reporter

Sargent says Democrats “can use this against the GOP.”

He adds: “Trump’s lawyer sen[t] a letter to Jim Jordan urging an investigation into any charges against Trump, the NYT reports. Dems will use any hearings that Jordan holds to shed light on coordination between Trump’s legal team and House Republicans, aides tell me.”

In his Wednesday Washington Post opinion column Sargent calls on Democrats to “marshal some serious creativity in response” to Republican attacks.

“The extraordinary move by House Republicans to insert themselves into Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation of Trump provides Democrats with an opening to do just that,” he says.

Sargent says “it’s not clear that Jordan, the Judiciary Committee chair, has thought this through. The course of action signaled by the letter — also signed by Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) — could go sideways for Republicans in unforeseen ways.”

READ MORE: US Secretary of State Denounces Uganda’s New ‘Kill the Gays’ Bill

Raskin is an attorney, constitutional law professor, and was the lead impeachment manager for the second impeachment of Donald Trump. He has become a leading voice for American democratic values and in the fight against the MAGA Republicans.

“If and when there is an indictment, we will be able to reconstruct all the facts of this case in a way that makes sense to the American public,” Raskin told Sargent, who explains: “The aim, he noted, would be to ‘show the justice process is working, and there is no call for extraordinary intervention by the U.S. Congress.'”

Sargent warns, “A Trump indictment will unleash months of information warfare around a numbingly complex matter never before litigated in the public arena. Democrats sometimes undervalue the importance of sheer creativity in politics, and as ugly as the GOP response has been, Republicans are responding to unprecedented circumstances with new innovations. Democrats must meet them on that battlefield.”

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Florida GOP Lawmaker Who Wrote ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Facing Up to 35 Years After Pleading Guilty in COVID Fraud Case



Joe Harding, the now-former Florida Republican lawmaker who authored the extremist “Don’t Say Gay” bill could face up to 35 years in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday afternoon to federal felony fraud charges in a scheme to obtain $150,000 in COVID-19 relief funds, according to Florida Politics‘ publisher Peter Scorsch.

Harding, 35, was a construction project manager who started his own lawn care company. He quickly became a right-wing darling after his anti-LGBTQ legislation, officially the Parental Rights in Education Act, was embraced by Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis, who signed it into law.

Harding was charged in a December federal indictment with six counts of wire fraud, money laundering, and making false statements in his plot to obtain $150,000 in COVID funds.He resigned from the legislature the following day. He originally pled not guilty.

READ MORE: ‘Chilling’: Law Enforcement ‘Seriously’ Investigating Threats Ahead of Possible Trump Indictment Says Top WaPo Reporter

After Harding was charged and resigned, Nadine Smith, the executive director of Equality Florida, responded via social media, saying: “So much harm to students, parents and teachers because of his raw political ambitions. He slandered entire communities and trafficked in lie after lie that has emboldened violent bigotry. He will have his day in court but his legacy is already a despicable one.”

Harding is not the only family member accused of criminal acts.

“Harding’s indictment follows a September guilty plea from his brother-in-law, Patrick Walsh,” Florida Politics reported in December. “As reported by Fresh Take Florida, Walsh pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges connected to his receipt of nearly $8 million in disaster relief loans.”

Unrepentant to the harm many feel he has done to children and the LGBTQ community, in a statement Tuesday Harding said: “During the past legislative session I have felt the support of millions of Americans while fighting for our shared concerns and for the rights of parents. I will never forget the support I received from every corner of this great country.”

READ MORE: 18 Attorneys General Blast Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Law as Unconstitutional

Harding will be sentenced in July.

Florida’s Voice also reported Harding’s guilty plea Tuesday.


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