NEW YORK (AP) — A gentleman who briefly labored as an aide to U.S. Rep. George Santos says he acquired his task right after sending a series of payments to a single of the Republican’s best deputies.
Derek Myers, 31, explained to personnel of the House’s ethics subcommittee through an job interview Wednesday that when he was making an attempt to get a job in Santos’ congressional place of work in late January, he sent at least 7 $150 payments to Santos’ director of functions, Vish Burra.
Myers shared information about the payments, together with receipts and text messages, with The Affiliated Push. His account of how Burra served him get hired hasn’t previously been reported and raises questions about potential moral improprieties all over Santos.
Myers mentioned he commenced sending the money unsolicited for the reason that he thought Burra, a ideal-wing political operative, wasn’t getting paid by the House at the time and couldn’t pay for foodstuff. But he mentioned he also hoped the payments could help him secure a occupation.
“Burra was a strong individual,” Myers told the AP. “I required him to advocate on my behalf.”
Burra, a trusted presence beside Santos who served escort his manager absent from journalists immediately after his arraignment in federal court docket final month, declined to remark.
Home investigators questioned Myers about the payments, documented in receipts and text messages, as part of a probe into office sexual harassment allegations Myers made immediately after getting dismissed from Santos’ workers in February.
Myers, a previous journalist, been given a career supply to be a legislative assistant in late January, but lasted a lot less than a week in the situation. At the time, Santos told Myers he was anxious by the findings of a background examine, which confirmed Myers had been charged with wiretapping in Ohio after publishing a recording of a trial.
In a February letter sent to the Dwelling Committee on Ethics, Myers reported he was ousted immediately after he spurned Santos’ sexual advances, accusing the congressman of operating his hand alongside his internal leg and touching his groin even though they have been by yourself in the office.
Santos has denied the allegation, describing it as “comical.”
The Property Ethics Committee is investigating a number of allegations of poor habits by Santos, who has admitted to fabricating much of his biography and is presently experiencing federal expenses that include things like fraud and income laundering.
Final month, Republicans in the Property sidestepped a vote to expel Santos, referring the matter to the ethics panel. The committee has not divulged whom it is interviewing or when a choice might be attained.
On Wednesday, users of the committee expended two several hours questioning Myers about his sexual harassment allegations, his relationship with Burra, and regardless of whether he’d witnessed any illegal actions throughout his brief stint in the place of work.
He described finding Burra on-line, then pushing for a task at Santos’s place of work out of an earnest need to help the scandal-scarred consultant.
Myers also presented documentation, including emails and textual content messages with staffers and receipts displaying his Venmo payments to Burra.
In his interview, Myers explained Burra did not ask him for money, but the moment asked for that he “send much more pizza,” which he took to be a reference to the pizza emoji they’d made use of earlier in Venmo issue lines.
The Household investigators requested Myers about a text exchange he had with Burra on Jan. 29, days soon after he’d been offered the career. In that trade, Myers had questioned Burra, “Did you get payroll but.”
“No. You didn’t have to do that guy,” Burra replied, incorporating later on, “I’m gonna pay back you back for confident.”
Myers acknowledged during his interview with the Home investigators that he experienced secretly recorded at minimum 1 dialogue with Santos and later shared it with a journalist. He also claimed he had absent to the FBI whilst nevertheless working for Santos, with the intention of maybe working as a private informant for law enforcement.
He mentioned he resolved to converse out about the harassment incident after he was pressured to leave the work.