Republicans Block Democrats’ Resolution to Expel Criminally Indicted George Santos – Move Seen as ‘Tacit Endorsement’
House Republicans on Wednesday blocked a resolution filed by Democrats to expel U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY), recently criminally indicted on 13 federal felony charges. Instead, following Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy’s continued support for the serial liar and admitted thief who is believed to be the target of additional investigations, Republicans unanimously voted to send the resolution to the House this Committee, where is is widely expected to sit with no further action taken.
That move to block and send the resolution to committee was per McCarthy’s recommendation. Santos is already facing an alleged Ethics Committee investigation that was announced March 2.
The final vote was 221-204. Several Democrats who sit on the Ethics Committee voted present, and their votes would not have changed the outcome.
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221 Republicans vote to send resolution to expel George Santos to the Ethics Committee. pic.twitter.com/9t9AbFO2OX
— Acyn (@Acyn) May 17, 2023
One week ago Wednesday, Santos surrendered to authorities and was charged with “seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds, and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives,” The New York Times reported.
The move to send the resolution to the Ethics Committee, which McCarthy publicly announced was his preference, is believed by House insiders to mean it will sit there and no further action will be taken. Not expelling Santos, while many Democratic voters see as a stain on the Republican Party, is effectively seen as the cost of maintaining a minuscule majority by GOP voters.
House insider Aaron Fritschner, Deputy Chief of Staff to U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), explained the vote as a “Republican motion to protect George Santos from expulsion from the House for financial crimes,” noting it “passe[d] as all Republicans stand in solidarity with George Santos and vote to block the expulsion resolution.”
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Fritschner posted a photo of Santos celebrating the holidays last year with House GOP Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, who filed the motion to block Democrats’ resolution.
The motion to block the resolution expelling George Santos was offered by his fellow New York Republican Anthony D’Esposito, pictured below with Santos in December pic.twitter.com/Wo4AINgqoH
— Aaron Fritschner (@Fritschner) May 17, 2023
The New York Times on Wednesday noted by voting to send the resolution to committee, Republicans’ “actions also may be construed as a tacit endorsement of Mr. Santos’s remaining in Congress as he faces ethical and legal inquiries.”
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Prosecutors Tell Trump They Have a Recording of Him and a Witness: Report
Prosecutors in Donald Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial have notified the ex-president’s attorneys they have a recording of him and a witness. The notification comes in the form of an automatic discovery form, CBS News reports, which “describes the nature of the charges against a defendant and a broad overview of the evidence that prosecutors will present at Trump’s preliminary hearing or at trial.”
CBS reports prosecutors have handed the recording over to Trump’s legal team.
It’s not known who the witness is, nor are any details known publicly about what the conversation entails, or even if it is just audio or if it includes video.
READ MORE: ‘Likely to Be Indicted Soon’: Trump Might Face Seven Different Felonies, Government Watchdog Says
According to the article’s author, CBS News’ Graham Kates, via Twitter, prosecutors say they also have recordings between two witnesses, a recording between a witness and a third party, and various recordings saved on a witness’s cell phones.
Manhattan prosecutors disclosed to Trump a recording of him and a witness in his criminal case. pic.twitter.com/EIz3bvpEkj
— Graham Kates (@GrahamKates) May 26, 2023
Trump is facing 34 felony counts in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case related to his allegedly unlawful attempt to hide hush money payoffs to a well-known porn star by falsifying business records to protect his 2016 presidential campaign.
See the discovery form above or at this link.
Image via Shutterstock
Bill Barr’s Former Special Counsel John Durham to Testify in House Hearing
Former Special Counsel John Durham, who recently ended his four-year investigation into the FBI’s decision to launch an investigation into Russia’s attack on the 2016 election and any possible connection Donald Trump or his campaign had to those efforts, will testify before the Republican-majority House Judiciary Committee next month.
The Durham report, widely-panned by legal experts but praised by GOP partisans, was the culmination of an investigation many believe was started to appease then-President Donald Trump. Trump Attorney General Bill Barr secretly elevated Durham to Special Counsel status in October of 2020, effectively to allow his investigation to continue regardless of the result of the following month’s presidential election.
Durham ended up indicting just three people. He lost two cases and the third pleaded guilty to a minor charge.
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Washington Post columnist Philip Bump published an analysis earlier this month titled, “Durham’s probe ends as it began: Pointing at trees to obscure the forest.”
But Durham’s report gives fodder to the far-right.
National security and legal experts have torn the Durham report apart, with some noting his investigation directly conflicts with findings from a DOJ Inspector General and the then-GOP majority Senate Intelligence Committee’s report.
Fox News reports Durham “will testify in front of the House Judiciary Committee about his report in June, a source has told Fox News on Friday.”
“The hearing will happen on Wednesday, June 21,” Fox adds. “The day before, Durham will appear before the House Intelligence Committee in a closed-door briefing.”
DeSantis to Launch Presidential Campaign Live on Twitter With Big Tech Mogul Elon Musk
Republican Ron DeSantis will officially launch his 2024 presidential campaign in an event with a billionaire mogul who represents some elements of what conservative America greatly opposes: Big Tech, and clean and renewable energy.
The Florida Republican Governor, who has spent months traveling the country, will sit down with Musk and David Sacks on Wednesday, NBC News reports, when he is expected to formally announce his White House run. Musk is a Big Tech giant, the owner of the social media platform Twitter, the head of the electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla, CEO of the space exploration company SpaceX, and founder of the electric vehicle public transportation company The Boring Company.
He is also the world’s second richest person.
“Musk and DeSantis will host an event on Twitter Spaces, the site’s platform for audio chats, on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET. It will be moderated by David Sacks, a tech entrepreneur who is a Musk confidant and DeSantis supporter,” NBC adds. “That same evening, the campaign will release a launch video, and DeSantis will begin visiting several early states after Memorial Day.”
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It’s unclear why DeSantis is choosing to let the momentum wane by pausing travel for several days.
Appearing to confirm his participation, Musk retweeted a Fox News reporter’s tweet announcing the Wednesday evening event. “Twitter Spaces” is also now trending.
Musk is a highly-polarizing figure, but he has publicly suggested he supports a DeSantis presidency.
“My preference for the 2024 presidency is someone sensible and centrist,” Musk tweeted in November. Asked by a Twitter user if he would support a DeSantis run, Musk tweeted one word: “Yes.”
DeSantis is far from centrist. He has hammered together what some call one of the most extreme and authoritarian state governments in modern America.
One year ago in April Vox alleged, “Ron DeSantis is following a trail blazed by a Hungarian authoritarian,” doing, “The Florida governor isn’t doing ‘competent Trumpism.’ He’s inventing American Orbánism.”
“By operationalizing the culture war into a set of concrete policies, DeSantis has transformed the nation’s third most populous state,” TIME’s Molly Ball wrote last week. “What was once the butt of jokes about gators and retirees is now the swaggering, Southern-tinged Free State of Florida—where men are men, woke is broke, and business is booming; 1,200 net new residents arrive every day.”
And the headline on a March piece at The Atlantic reads: “How Did America’s Weirdest, Most Freedom-Obsessed State Fall for an Authoritarian Governor?”
And an April opinion piece by U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat of Florida, in the Sun Sentinel reads: “Ron DeSantis’ anti-choice extremism will keep hurting Florida’s women and girls.”
MSNBC also announced the event on-air.
Watch below or at this link.
BREAKING: Ron DeSantis to announce he is running for president during a Twitter Spaces discussion with Elon Musk on Wednesday night, sources familiar with the plans tell NBC News. pic.twitter.com/e3qkU4wEhh
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) May 23, 2023
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