Wed. Feb 1st, 2023

Two congressional Democrats requested Home Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday to limit Republican Rep. George Santos’ entry to categorized data, arguing the scandal-plagued freshman lawmaker “can’t be trusted” with confidential supplies.

“It’s clear that Congressman George Santos has violated the general public’s belief on numerous events,” Reps. Joseph Morelle and Gregory Meeks, each from Santos’ personal state of New York, mentioned in a letter to McCarthy.

“His unfettered entry to our nation’s secrets and techniques presents a big threat to the nationwide safety of this nation,” the Democrats wrote. “We urge you to behave swiftly to forestall George Santos from abusing his place and endangering our nation.”

Santos’ workplace didn’t instantly reply to CNBC’s request for touch upon the letter.

Simply weeks after profitable his congressional race within the November midterms, Santos admitted to mendacity about key particulars of his private life {and professional} historical past. He has apologized for having “embellished” his resume however denies committing any crimes.

However as Meeks and Morelle be aware of their letter, Santos is embroiled in native, state, federal and worldwide investigations. In addition they flagged latest reporting about Santos’ alleged ties to figures associated to a sanctioned Russian oligarch, amongst different points.

“The quite a few regarding allegations about his conduct over a long time put his character into query, and recommend he can’t be trusted with confidential and categorized data that might threaten the USA’ nationwide safety,” the Democrats wrote.

Prime GOP officers in New York have denounced Santos as a liar and a fraud, and a handful of his fellow Republicans in Congress even have urged him to resign. For his half, Santos has vowed to serve out his full two-year time period, arguing his district’s voters must be those to determine his political destiny.

McCarthy, who leads a slim Home majority that Santos’ departure may shrink much more, has echoed that line and refused to hitch in his social gathering’s blaring criticism of the freshman congressman.

“You understand why I am standing by him? As a result of his constituents voted for him,” McCarthy advised reporters Tuesday. The Republican chief mentioned Santos would solely be faraway from the Home if its ethics committee decided that he broke the regulation.

A spokesman for McCarthy didn’t instantly touch upon the Democrats’ letter.

The McCarthy-led GOP Steering Committee final week awarded Santos spots on the Science, Area and Know-how Committee and the Small Enterprise Committee.

Wednesday’s letter from Morelle and Meeks requested McCarthy to restrict Santos’ skill to entry categorized supplies, “together with stopping him from attending any categorized briefings and limiting his entry to such data by way of his committee assignments.”

The Democrats appeared to acknowledge that Santos was assigned to lower-profile committees, however they famous that he may nonetheless probably acquire entry to swaths of delicate data.

“Because it presently stands, Members are usually not mandated to have safety clearances nor signal a nondisclosure settlement, nevertheless, that doesn’t entitle them to limitless entry to categorized data,” they wrote.

“Congressman George Santos was assigned to committees whose jurisdiction could pertain to solely a portion of our nation’s nationwide safety and international coverage agenda, but this doesn’t cease or inhibit him from requesting a safe briefing or categorized paperwork concerning a breadth of subjects at any time,” they mentioned.

Santos’ “untrustworthiness may warrant the Intelligence Neighborhood to decelerate or restrict sure categorized data it shares with Congress,” they advised McCarthy within the letter.

They argued: “This might have profound implications for the Legislative Department’s skill to carry out its legislative, oversight, and investigative duties over the Govt Businesses’ categorized packages.”

The Democrats’ letter comes amid an increasing controversy over the removing of categorized paperwork from safe areas by high-profile politicians.

A lawyer for Mike Pence revealed Tuesday that categorized paperwork had been found on the former vp’s Indiana house. That information was seen as a aid for President Joe Biden, who has come underneath intense scrutiny after categorized paperwork had been discovered at his house and workplace, prompting the appointment of a particular counsel to research.

Final summer season, the FBI raided former President Donald Trump’s Florida house and eliminated hundreds of pages of data, together with quite a few units of categorized paperwork, after the Division of Justice mentioned it discovered proof of obstruction of an investigation.

Trump has introduced he’s operating for president once more in 2024, whereas Pence and Biden are each extensively alleged to be gearing as much as launch their very own campaigns.

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