Santos denies sexual harassment accusation of potential former staff member
Representative George Santos, a Republican from New York, arrives for a vote at the United States Capitol in Washington, DC, U.S., Tuesday, January 31, 2023.
Al-Draco | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Republican Representative George Santos on Monday denied groping a potential former staffer in his congressional office, calling the sexual harassment allegation “comical.”
Santos, the embattled freshman lawmaker from New York who faces a litany of other scandals and investigations, said he “of course” denies the latest claim “100%,” CNN reported.
The denial came three days after Santos accuser Derek Myers said he had filed a report calling on US Capitol police and the House Ethics Committee to investigate the case. alleged incident of sexual harassment.
Myers also asked the ethics committee to investigate Santos’ office for allegedly giving him staff duties and promising him future employment while an unpaid volunteer, according to a letter Myers released. on Twitter.
Neither NBC News nor CNBC was able to independently corroborate the claims in the letter.
A spokeswoman for Santos’ office referred CNBC to his attorney, who declined to comment. US Capitol Police did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on Myers’ alleged report.
Myers’ involvement with Santos was first revealed last week, when Talking Points Memo released an audio Myers surreptitiously recorded in the congressman’s office. That report, which described Myers as a local reporter, noted that he was charged last year with wiretapping after his outlet published leaked audio of courtroom testimony. The nonprofit Committee to Protect Journalists has called for the charges to be dropped.
In his letter published Friday, Myers said Santos sexually harassed him on Jan. 25 when the two men were alone in the congressman’s personal office reading voter mail. Santos had asked Myers earlier in the day if he had a profile on the LGBTQ dating app Grindr, sharing that “he had a profile himself,” Myers’ letter said.
Myers wrote that Santos called him “buddy” and “insisted” that Myers sit next to him on a small sofa before “placing his hand on my left leg, near my knee and saying: “Hey buddy, we’re going to karaoke tonight. Would you like to go?'”
Myers refused, and Santos then “took her hand and moved it down my leg to the inside of my thigh and began to touch my groin,” according to the letter. “He then started looking at me and said, ‘My husband is out of town tonight if you want to come,'” and shared his address with Myers, according to the letter.
Myers said he pushed Santos’s hand away and returned to discuss voter mail, then left the office shortly thereafter. Five days later, Myers wrote, he was invited to Santos’ office and “questioned about my background as a journalist” and matters that “had already been disclosed” in previous discussions with hiring managers.
On Feb. 1, Myers’ job offer was rescinded, according to the letter. She had been offered a position just over a week earlier, on January 23, and started performing various office duties the following day, but was told her title would be “volunteer” until her onboarding documents have been processed, according to the letter.
“Since then, I have learned that such pro bono work within a Congressional office without the correct procedures being followed is a violation of House ethics,” Myers wrote, calling for an investigation into the case. question.
The Republican majority office of the House Ethics Committee did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on Myers’ letter. A spokesperson for Rep. Susan Wild, the top-ranked Democrat on the panel, told NBC the office received the letter. The Congressional Ethics Office, a nonpartisan entity that Myers had tagged in his Twitter feed, also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.