GOP’s unemployment fraud presser interrupted by news of George Santos’ arrest for unemployment fraud

New York GOP Rep. George Santos was indicted on 13 criminal counts this Wednesday, including 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.

Santos was taken into custody in Long Island, New York, and pleaded not guilty to all counts at his arraignment. He was later released on bond. Addressing reporters outside the courthouse after his arraignment, Santos said his case is an example of being “innocent until proven guilty.”

“I have my right to fight to prove my innocence,” he said.

During a press conference today, Republicans talked about their bill that would clamp down on fraud in the nation’s unemployment insurance program — a bill that Santos was a co-sponsor of. But as the presser was going on, Santos’ arrest was making news.

As Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) took questions, one reporter pointed out that one of Santos’ indictments is for unemployment benefit fraud. “Does that undermine the message you’re trying to send with that bill?” the reporter asked.

Scalise replied that Santos was “already removed from all of his committees” and will have to go through the “legal process.”

“But we’re gonna continue to root out fraud,” Scalise said.

Watch the video below:

Sky Palma

Before launching DeadState back in 2012, Sky Palma has been blogging about politics, social issues and religion for over a decade. He lives in Los Angeles and also enjoys Brazilian jiu jitsu, chess, music and art.