WASHINGTON — Rep. George Santos, RN.Y, offered Thursday to co-sponsor a new Republican-backed bill designed to prevent anyone convicted of certain crimes from building up his résumé or biography.
New York GOP Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, Brandon Williams and Nicolas LaLotta unveiled the legislation earlier this week. The No Fortune for Fraud Act would prevent members of Congress from financially benefiting from any act that violates the Federal Elections Act of 1971, or any other crime for which members could lose their pension.
In a letter to D’Esposito, the bill’s lead sponsor, Santos offered to officially sign on as a supporter on Thursday and asked D’Esposito to join “other similar housekeeping legislation.”
Santos separately told NBC News that the measure introduced by D’Esposito is “a good bill” that is about “good governance.”
D’Esposito was the first House Republican to call for Santos’ resignation over revelations that the first-time lawmaker had embellished his background and work experience while running for Congress.
When asked about D’Esposito, Santos said, “He’s acting like judge and jury and I think that’s irresponsible. But on a more lighter note, I think it’s a great bill.” is what holds the government accountable. I ran on that stage seeing politicians come here to enrich themselves.”
Santos said he plans to introduce some “good housekeeping bills … that reflect that same public trust in the American people.”
The bill currently has five co-sponsors — all New York Republicans — but Santos will not join that list, D’Esposito said.
Santos would “absolutely not” co-sponsor the bill, D’Esposito said in a brief interview on Thursday, adding that Santos was “the poster child of good governance.”
In a separate statement, D’Esposito said, “I take Jorge Santos’ sponsorship of good government legislation as seriously as Sam Bankman-Fried teaching a course in business ethics.”
The back-and-forth represents the latest plot twist in the New York Republican’s efforts to distance himself from his scandal-plagued ally — and Santos’ continued denial or getting out of his way.
D’Esposito, Williams and Lalota sharply criticized Santos when they presented their legislation on Tuesday.
“If you’re defrauding the American people, if you’re poking fun out of people’s homes, or violating campaign finance law, you shouldn’t be able to turn this into a payday,” D’Esposito said. Where was it at that time? “Should fraudsters like George Santos be indicted or convicted of the crimes listed in my law, our law, they will not be making money off a book deal, a TV movie, Dancing with the Stars, or the next Netflix special.”
Santos first came under scrutiny when The New York Times published a blistering investigation in December that suggested that much of his résumé was fabricated, claiming that he had many assets that were previously undisclosed. He was employed by Goldman Sachs and Citigroup and graduated from Baruch College. , He has also lied about how his mother was at the World Trade Center during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The congressman from New York faces multiple investigations at the state and federal levels, including one recently opened by the House Ethics Committee.
Kyle Stewart And Liz Brown-Kaiser Contribution,